Dennis on blocking Red Bull’s Honda deal: “Someone had to take a clear decision”

Ron Dennis admits he decreed that Honda could not supply Red Bull in 2016 – but the McLaren boss insists that the Japanese manufacturer was fully behind the decision.

Red Bull tried to get a Honda deal after failing with Mercedes and Ferrari, but despite help from Bernie Ecclestone, McLaren vetoed the idea.

Dennis says the possibility of Honda expanding to a second team came too late, and that the biggest issue was making enough parts given the pace of development.

“We sat with Honda and absolutely analysed where we were,” said Dennis when asked by this writer. “And absolutely analysed where we were, and would it enhance our ability to become competitive faster or not by bringing in another team, such as Red Bull, who would pressurise the system even more?

“Based on the current supply structure, where we are on the engine, the time before the first Grand Prix [of 2016], it was very, very clear that the decision really was that it wasn’t possible physically to push the suppliers up the supply chain to increased production, because we didn’t know what we wanted them to make.

“Our engine programme will be late next year because we want to take the maximum amount of time to make parts. How many parts do you make, bearing in mind there is a lot more freedom now. Anyone can design a new engine next year, everybody is designing a new engine.

“The more engines you have to make, the more your supply change gets stressed, because you have to develop components and then commit to how many you’re going to make – a lot of what you make in an R&D capacity is scrap. Just having increased the budget into F1 Honda could see no real economic logic at this stage to embrace another team.”

Dennis says he made the final call: “Someone had to take a clear decision, and as it needed someone to take a decision, I took one, and therefore took the understandable flak. But it was fully supported by Honda. We didn’t have the capacity to engage another team, but someone had to stand up and say this is not going to happen. It wasn’t me countering a desire of Honda, this was me taking responsibility for the decision, which goes with the job.”

8 Comments

Filed under F1, F1 News, Grand Prix News

8 responses to “Dennis on blocking Red Bull’s Honda deal: “Someone had to take a clear decision”

  1. Mick

    They’ve used 3 x the power units of the Mercedes team this year, next year might be the same. It’s a reasonable decision.

    Interesting that Ron is now talking about Alonso taking 2016 off from F1. Does he already know that the 2016 power unit isn’t going to be the massive step forward they need?

  2. peterg

    I agree, it is not as if a PU could be bought off the shelf, the 2016 engine is a R&D work in progress over the winter break.

  3. They could supply Red Bull with some 2015 engines…. ;-)))

  4. GeorgeK

    Yeah Ron, you’re a regular bastion of responsibility, always ready to do the right thing. Even parking Alonso for a year if HE wants it. Riiiight.

  5. Not George

    It’s rare to see someone show some leadership in F1 just now. The whole Red Bull engine saga has been a muddle for months which should never have been played out in public. Imagine what Red Bull would have been saying about Honda if the ERS doesn’t improve drastically next year.

    • GeorgeK

      I’ve been a McLaren fan since the beginning with Bruce and Deny Hulme. Squashing the Honda deal with RB was the smart play. Not having to listen to Ron this past year has been somewhat refreshing, but ever since Suzuka he has been reverting more and more to the “Old” Ron. You know, the guy who can spell team with an “I” in it.

  6. Jon

    Didn’t anyone else hear Horner quoting that the RB engine deal for next year will upset Ron – it was on the BBC Forum? The quote is nowhere to be seen on the web??
    Renault are leaving.
    Honda will supply RB – maybe add their own Energy Systems as they have been pretty much been doing that for Renault.
    Alonso will not take sabbatical – he’ll be in jail for strangling Mr Dennis!

    You read it here first!

    • Richard K

      I think that they will take a Renault engine and brand it under one of their other sponsors… perhaps the sponsor that just transferred to them from McLaren..? (That’s Tag Heuer btw).

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