Ron Dennis: “It’s challenging at the moment…”

Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button both retired from the Malaysian GP, but McLaren chairman Ron Dennis says that nevertheless it was a positive weekend for the team and Honda.

Prior to stopping the drivers had at least demonstrated that the cars were closer to the pace of those ahead, and in addition they ran a respectable amount of laps in practice.

“Both drivers were extremely complimentary about high-speed cornering performance, and braking characteristics,” Dennis told this writer. “A whole range of positives came out of the weekend. I think we’re very strong in certain parts of the circuit. Clearly we aren’t where we want to be with the engine, and nor is Honda, but we are getting there.

“The retirement reasons were slightly related but not identical. The primary engines have not been damaged, because we stopped. They’ll be the engines for the next Grand Prix, albeit with some reliability components changed.”

Dennis has no regrets about committing to the Japanese manufacturer, and says it’s just a matter of time before things come together.

“We have a steep learning curve, and of course we want to win races, but we want to be on a path to World Championships. And to do that you need the complete support, and focussed support, of an OEM. Yes it’s challenging at the moment, but we’re working hard with Honda and we will get there sooner than people realise. It goes step by step. It will be Europe before we’ll have a pace we can measure.”

Regarding the return of Alonso he said: “It’s great, I think he’s done a great job all weekend, in every way.”


Filed under F1, F1 News, Grand Prix News

8 responses to “Ron Dennis: “It’s challenging at the moment…”

  1. Off Track

    “we’re very strong in certain parts of the circuit”
    There were many parts of the circuit the two had all to themselves, eerily silent, with leaves still fluttering after the rest had disappeared.

    …. ps looking elsewhere on the page here it’s upsetting to learn that Lennon’s first wife has died while the evil Yoko [who was already pushing fifty then] is still going strong

    • Racehound

      Yokos from Japan…bad for whales…..tsunamis like it there though because of that damned Pacific Ocean full of whales!!!

  2. Racehound

    Was this interview recorded AND filmed? If it was filmed as well, (presumably for McLaren/Hondas Review of the 2015 season on DVD this Xmas as a stocking filler for £50!!!), can the video be seen on the official McL/Hon website if you are a member? Honestly, the website sux….unless you are a Tooned fan, and who wouldnt be seeing as its the only way McHonEsquire manage to give us a laugh at the moment. Id rather be stoic and humble watching Fer and Jen coming 1-2 every race, but it seems we have to wait at least another 2 or 3 races before that happens. (I really hope so. #:) So no stoic and humble for me, only a feeling that something else is going on as regards to grid “pecking order”. All I hear pre-season is there was “no way to stop Mercedes dominance”…..and testing showed that was the most likely outcome, as well as all the bookies betting on it! Now Mercchumps lose a half a second to 1 and a half seconds advantage due to power unit because of “track temperature”?!!!! Really???? Same tyres for all to choose so was Mercchumps “tyre strategy” in Malaysia “designed to fail”? Everyone is blaming tyre strat for Mercedes failing to record another 1-2 finish. Shekelstone and Toad are not Alonso fans!!! Wake up people…..if all of them were in EXACTLY the same cars ONLY THEN will we see TRUE motor racing! When one car has an advantage over another car, then the car is the difference! Doesnt matter who you put in the driving seat from the top 5 drivers,,in the FASTEST car that driver will win. So Bernie is right when he says F1 is in the “entertainment business”, because F1 is definitely not about Sport from what I can see! I love the way the press facetiously, repetitively and brazenly trumpet every F1 race all over the world as “The F1 Circus”. And guess what?…you know it already……..the clowns are running the show. #:)

  3. Don Davis

    It must be hard for Ron D / JB / FA to be running test sessions as the rest are racing.

  4. I don’t see them getting anywhere this season, personally, but stranger things have happened

  5. Stone the crows

    This is really quite a predicament considering how technically proficient the McLaren camp has always been. I can see now why some didn’t want Manor/Marussia back because its quite an embarrassment to have last year’s Marussia finishing whilst both Mclarens are DNF’s. I wonder how long it will be until Mr. Dennis is asking for an exception to the engine token rule.

  6. George

    McLaren will thankfully just get on with it. The start of the Mercedes relationship in 1995 wasn’t great, but they got there. There’s no room for sentimentality regarding the 1988-1992 relationship with Honda, but they’ll play up to it if it gets them additional media coverage for their partners. I’m not a particular fan of any team, but I do appreciate engineering led decisions.

    • Stone the crows

      True enough, and when Mercedes took over Brawn GP their first couple of seasons were difficult. I’m sure that eventually the Honda package will come good, but till then its not going to be a lot of fun keeping chin up and all that whilst pacifying sponsors.

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