McLaren-Honda is holding talks with the FIA that are centered on the obligation to supply rule that comes into force from the 2017 Formula 1 season.
After months of negotiations, F1 bosses finally reached an agreement on the cost, supply, performance convergence and noise of engines from 2017 until ’20. The FIA can now compel the manufacturer with the fewest customers to supply a team that needs an engine, which at this stage would be Honda.
Honda is not happy with the idea of being forced to supply, but it says it will be ready to add a second team if required next season.
McLaren chairman Ron Dennis has said only once McLaren-Honda has won the world championship will it think about supplying a second team. When asked about the subject of the talks with the FIA, Honda chief Yusuke Hasegawa said: “It was focused on the obligation and customer supply.
“It is natural they [McLaren] don’t want to divide our resource to other teams, which I agree about. They don’t want to improve their rivals. Honda doesn’t want to have enforced obligation. But it is a regulation and we are happy to support this F1 activity.”
Boullier said talks are ongoing with the FIA regarding the engine regulations.
“We are currently still discussing with the FIA about the outcome of this regulation, or, let’s say, this agreement between the FIA and the engine manufacturers,” he said. “Most of it, we agree with. There are still a few clauses where we may still have discussion ongoing. We have our opinion, our position.
“We are obviously investing with Honda a lot in the sport, making sure there is a competitive fourth power unit manufacturer soon. That’s why we discuss and may, at some times, have some opinions that are a little bit different.”
Hasegawa took over from Yasuhisa Arai at the start of March with the latter facing growing pressure over the course of last season as Honda struggled with reliability and performance. This year, reliability has been better with performance gradually improving and Hasegawa is pleased there has been progress under his reign.
“Currently I’m very happy,” he said. “I’m feeling they [McLaren] trust me very much.
“As always, our current performance is based on last year’s experience. The results last year we do not want this year.”