From GrandPrix 247

Honda could keep working throughout the August factory shutdown period, it has emerged.

To cut costs and give hard-working staff a break in a busy race calendar, teams must close their factories for a period during the long break between the German and Belgian grands prix.

But suppliers are not subject to the same agreement, meaning McLaren’s works partner may be able to keep working in August.

“I think all the departments relating to the development of the chassis must obey these rules,” McLaren team boss Eric Boullier said at Silverstone.

“As for Honda, I hope they will continue to work in August,” he admitted. “The situation at Renault and Ferrari may be different, because their teams are organised in a different way.”

Honda’s F1 chief Yusuke Hasegawa commented: “We plan to do a certain amount of work in August, but we still have to double-check with the regulations.”


Well of course you (Honda) are going to work during the summer break. Why would you stop? Why would you take even a respite when there is such a massive amount of work to be done? Ron Dennis demands it, Eric Boullier demands it, Alonso all but demanded it last year when he mentioned over the radio at your home grand prix that your engine is GP2 type and a bit embarrassing.

However would you like to know who is demanding it the most? The Fans. The fans of McLaren, the fans of Alonso, the fans of F1, the fans from your glory days with Prost and Senna, and now a new generation of fans in this new engine formula era. By the way I am demanding it as well since we on the topic of demanding.

Don’t you see Honda? For F1 to be healthy, for F1 to be compelling, for F1 to be truly exciting again we need you to be on par with Mercedes and Ferrari. We need the thing in the back of that McLaren MP4-31 to be super fast so Alonso can take the fight to Lewis and Nico, to Sebastian and Ricciardo or to Raikkonen and Verstappen. But there is more.

Riding on your shoulders is the pride of McLaren International, arguably one of the greatest racing organizations in the history of racing itself and by default the reputation of Mr. Dennis, a true racer at heart. Also riding on this is Honda’s rep as well. Did you come back into the pinnacle of racing to be 10th best? There’s quite a bit of Honda pride that is in desperate need of repair and then some. No disrespect, but how many engines and other bits did you go through last year? How many penalties did the drivers have to incur?

Don’t even get me started about Alonso who should by all rights have four, if not five, championships by now. The Spaniard has put his legacy in your capable hands and it would be great if – no that is not quite right – you must not fall short of delivering a power unit worthy of his greatness. I know you to believe this. Otherwise why would you have lobbied so hard for him to spearhead your return into the sport that you so dominated at one time?

Yes, I know it is a big ask. I know there is no carbon fiber bullet. I know that two seconds is not that easy to come by, but if anyone is up to the task, it is you Honda. If anyone can perform what amounts to a miracle, Honda, you are the rainmaker.

In an interview given by McLaren supremo himself a few months back Dennis says, We at McLaren are motivated by the relentless pursuit of excellence – and, in a Formula One context, that equates to Grand Prix wins and world championships. Our ambitions encompass achieving exactly that. I will not say when that will occur, so please do not try to trap me into doing so. But I will say that Honda are equally ambitious. Together, we will win.

I am obliged to believe this and so yes, I highly recommend you working right through the summer break, I recommend you working right through the holidays as well because next year I want nothing less than to see Ron Dennis accept the constructors trophy for several race wins. Or to put it another way, I want nothing more than to see Fernando Alonso on the top step so many times that his third and fourth championships are all but a foregone conclusion…

-j (and who needs a summer break anyways) p-

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