McLaren boss Eric Boullier has revealed there were alternatives on the table for Honda before splitting, including a year-long sabbatical.
McLaren and Honda will go their separate ways at the end of the season with the Woking team using Renault power, while the Japanese manufacturer will start a new partnership with Toro Rosso.
However, Boullier said McLaren did try to work out another arrangement with Honda and keep the relationship intact.
"At the first tests of 2017, we realised serious problems were waiting for us," Boullier said to Auto Hebdo.
"We began to get nervous and started looking for solutions that could improve the situation.
"As a last resort, we were ready to offer that Honda skips the season while it improves and McLaren would use some other engines for that period."
In addition, McLaren were also ready to call upon the help of Mercedes to help the situation.
"Honda engineers and their colleagues from Mercedes could do a technical cooperation," he added..
"Or forming our own group of specialists in the engine area made up of different companies to help Honda find more efficient solutions more quickly.
"Unfortunately, none of the proposals were properly explored and as a result we ran out of arguments.
"We had to come to the conclusion that there was no other way out except for the termination of the cooperation."