McLaren racing director Eric Boullier has labelled the team’s three years with Honda as a “proper disaster” following the announcement of their divorce.
The Woking team finally decided to terminate their 10-year deal with the Japanese manufacturer and are looking to begin their ascent back toward the top with new suppliers Renault.
The new partnership will begin ahead of the 2018 season but, in the meantime, McLaren and Honda continue to reflect on their ill-fated time together.
“When you look at the last three years it’s been a proper disaster for us in terms of credibility and getting new sponsors,” said Boullier in an interview with the official F1 website.
“And then you have to take the long-term view: in the next five years I am absolutely sure that we will go back to where McLaren belongs.
“And with this bouncing back we get our credibility back and it will rebuild our sponsor portfolio. It might take two to three years.
“We are ninth in the championship – with a top engine I think we would be fourth right now and just on the FOM money we could cover the engine side, so it will not be a big risk on the monetary side.
“Thanks to the shareholders who have been brave enough to take a sporting choice and not hurt McLaren. They could have said, ‘Let’s wait until Honda wakes up’.”
McLaren’s attention now turns to securing the future of Fernando Alonso, with both parties optimistic about agreeing a new deal now that Honda are out of the equation.