Honda’s return to Formula 1 has not been the best, to put things nicely, but if you ask racer Fernando Alonso, you might get a more straightforward answer.
Seemingly endless troubles have plagued the Japanese company’s partner, McLaren, and hindered that British outfit from achieving a podium since they joined together back in 2014.
These woes have led to a split between the teams with McLaren picking up the Renault option for 2018 while Honda will shack up with Toro Rosso in its place. Honda apparently has high hopes for its new partnership with the Faenza-based team, and as a recent statement from the marque reveals, the two hope to be in the top three of next year’s F1 standings.
If Honda could achieve that goal, it would be a tremendous step forward. As it stands right now, the team’s tandem with McLaren is 9th in the Constructors’ Championship standings, only placing ahead of Sauber, who has gained just five points this season. Honda is likely the root of its problem.
That doesn’t seem to faze the company though, as Honda’s brand and communication director Katsuhide Moriyama said this weekend at the Singapore Grand Prix.
“For Honda, Formula 1 started with a dream by our founder, Mr. Soichiro Honda, and we have already had the history of more than 50 years with F1,” Moriyama said.
He admitted that quitting Formula 1 was never an option, and the brand’s dedication to improving is stronger than before.
F1’s current top three is a tight knit group with Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull filling out the podium in every race but one this year.
The enormous budget and experience-derived know-how help them to hover around the top spot, and Toro Rosso would have to step it up big-time to advance from its 6th place position. While the team’s Renault-sourced engines may not be helping its chances all that much, it’s hard to see how a Honda power plant switch could make much of a difference.