McLaren Racing Director Eric Boullier says the operation has until September to decide on its engine partner for 2018, due to the deadlines in designing next year’s car.
McLaren reunited with Honda in 2015, the Japanese manufacturer returning after six-year absence from the sport. In a bid to rekindle the dominant partnership of the late 1980s/early 1990s.
However, McLaren has yet to capture its desired results, taking a best race result of fifth, and holds ninth in the standings, amid Honda’s struggles with its revised 2017 power unit.
McLaren has criticised Honda on a regular basis this year and sounded out rival manufacturers over a potential 2018 supply. Though Honda, also linked with Toro Rosso, has repeatedly reiterated its desire to stay.
On a deadline for finalising its 2018 partner, Boullier said: “Technically you could change an engine in 12 weeks, let’s say. Then you can change it any time before the [next] season up until, let’s say, three months before. It’s going to be September, if you want to do the base design around an engine – September.”
Boullier also emphasised that McLaren has been thoroughly disappointed by its showing across the first 11 races of 2017. McLaren holds ninth position in the Constructors’ Championship.
“Well, obviously, we finished the last year sixth. And we can’t be happy with where we are with the situation, the reliability, and performance,” Boullier explained. If we have to say after half a season where we are: we are working hard to recover.
After performance and competitiveness we had last year the ambition to do a better job this year. But this is not where we are and where we want to be. We can’t be very happy so far.”