Honda believes that excessive respect in communicating with McLaren caused the collapse of their last partnership. The Japanese manufacturer returned to Formula 1 in 2015 as an engine supplier for McLaren, but that relationship lasted only three seasons because it was broken due to failure.
Before returning to the premier grid, Honda announced that they were returning for the title. Still, they entered with the Woking team into the hybrid era where they literally blamed themselves for every drive with changes to powertrains.
All this forced two-time world champion Fernando Alonso to declare that Honda's engine is equal to the GP2 category, and the Spaniard withdrew from Formula 1 for two seasons due to non-competitiveness. However, Honda’s Formula 1 boss, Masashi Yamamoto, believes communication has been one of the main problems with McLaren.
“After the days spent at McLaren, we learned a lot, but we think there was too much mutual respect,” Yamamoto said. “So maybe there was a lack of communication, then it was embarrassing that the project failed,” he added.
After a strange time spent with McLaren, Honda first became the engine supplier to Toro Rosso (now AlphaTauri) and then to Red Bull, with whom they won the driver’s championship title this year. However, despite winning the title, the Japanese powertrain manufacturer withdrew from the premier grid.
“Leaving Formula 1 was a very important decision for Honda, and also for customers around the world. Although we achieved good results this year, we did not think about staying here, ”Yamamoto explained.
Red Bull will take over the production of its engines in 2022 after the departure of Honda, although the Japanese engine manufacturer will stay on the sidelines to help develop their power unit.
Honda went from Formula 1 to the big gates, winning the title, but Yamamoto revealed which event was his best while they were on the grid. "The best moment for me is the Australian Grand Prix in 2019, the first podium with Red Bull.
Also, of course, Austria 2019, the first victory with Red Bull, ”he concluded. Honda has shown that it can do a lot and that they are a serious company that can help create the strongest cars. They showed in Red Bull this year how much can be achieved in cooperation with them, and it is obvious that some things in McLaren were missing. Still, they are leaving in a great way, and we hope that they will return to the top again