McLaren executive director Zak Brown believes Ron Dennis would also have cut his losses and ended the partnership with Honda early if he was still in charge of the team.
Honda returned as McLaren’s engine partner in 2015, but things have not gone according to plan as, instead of challenging for the title and podiums, the team have found themselves competing with backmarkers.
Although there has been a slight improvement this year, the Woking squad announced in September that the partnership with the Japanese manufacturer will come to an end after this season and they will switch to Renault engines.
When asked if Dennis would have done the same, Brown told Sky Sports F1’s Rachel Brookes: “I think he would have.
“He was here when those conversations were ongoing and I think Ron always has and always will have the best interests of McLaren in his heart, he is Mr McLaren.
“It burns him inside as much as us not to see us winning races.”
Brown says both parties tried to make the partnership work, but they knew ahead of the 2017 season that they were just not up to scratch.
“We knew we were in trouble in testing in Barcelona and we worked really hard for six months to try and find solutions that would give us confidence that we’d be much more competitive in 2018,” he said.
“Ultimately, after trying many different things and many different ways we felt we couldn’t get there. Three years is a long time in Formula 1 and so we needed to change the direction to get our team back at the top.”