IRONING OUT PROBLEMS: Jenson Button testing his McLaren in Spain. Image: AP / Miguel Morenatti
TOKYO, Japan - McLaren has a Formula 1 mountain to climb with 'power unit' supplier Honda during the upcoming 2015 season with plenty of challenges along the way... but will get there in the end.
That’s the view of group head Ron Dennis who said on Tuesday (Feb 10 2015): "You don't expect to be at the top of the mountain the day you start climbing. It takes time… you also have to prepare well.”
He was speaking during a media conference at Honda's global headquarters in Tokyo.
HONDA ALWAYS SUCCEEDS
"We're preparing for the climb and it's going to be challenging, but it's a climb that both Honda and McLaren have made several times together."
Honda quit F1 as a manufacturer in 2008 but has returned in 2015 as engine partner to former champion team McLaren, which was powered by Mercedes units in 2014.
McLaren and Honda enjoyed a dominant period from 1988-92 with Brazilian triple champion Ayrton Senna and French four-times champion Alain Prost winning 15 of 16 races in 1988.
The team won 44 GP’s from 80 starts during that five-year partnership.
"We are ready for the challenge and will have success. History shows that Honda always succeeds and the Honda-McLaren partnership in the '80s is something that we intend to reproduce," Dennis said.
'WE'LL BE MEASURED IN AUSTRALIA'
McLaren’s most recent win was in 2012; already in February 2015 it has had a difficult start to testing with the new car in Jerez, southern Spain.
Spaniard Fernando Alonso and Britain's Jenson Button each managed only six laps over the first two days of the test but completed more on the remaining two.
Dennis added: "I think the first thing we should emphasise is that the first GP during which we are going to be measured is Australia. The first test clearly wasn't as smooth as we would have liked, but nevertheless we have to stay very disciplined and focus on gathering the data."
The season will start in Melbourne, Australia, on March 15.
Stay with Wheels24 for the 2015 F1 season – fresh reports every day.