Honda just can’t find another willing guinea pig for its genuinely abysmal Formula One engine. The latest “thanks, but no thanks” comes from Red Bull’s de-facto feeder squad Scuderia Toro Rosso, reports Motorsport.com. This is after a deal with Sauber fell through, and pervasive reports that McLaren wants anyone else’s F1 power unit for next year so long as it merely works.
Honda wants a second team so they can gather more data and hopefully speed up the development of their engine, which is much needed, given how slowly they’ve developed whatever blow-uppy hot mess they have this season.
So, Honda reportedly turned to Toro Rosso, hoping that Toro Rosso would break their existing contract with Renault to supply them with engines next year. No dice, though. After weeks of talks, it was believed that neither party could agree on the financial aspects of the deal, per Motorsport.com.
While it’s impossible to know if this was part of the financial rub or not given that Honda and Toro Rosso both did not comment on Motorsport.com’s report, I can’t help but to think think of all the lost earnings from race wins Toro Rosso would suffer if they switched to a dud of an engine. As we’ve seen with many smaller teams who’ve been forced to exit the sport after finishing with little or no points, the difference in earnings between a mid-field team (as Toro Rosso is now) and a backmarker (where McLaren-Honda is now) is gigantic.
In other words, it was a big financial trap. Good for Toro Rosso for seeing a trap that is definitely, most assuredly, 100 percent a trap.
Meanwhile, McLaren is having similar issues to Honda in trying to find a new power unit supplier, as a McLaren with a solid, reliable engine could easily be competitive and none of the works efforts really want them to be. Mercedes and Ferrari have both declined to supply McLaren with power units, Motorsport.com notes. A deal with Renault is believed to be unlikely as they are concerned about spreading themselves too thin—and also becoming less reliable—with four teams to supply.
Maybe Honda should’ve, I don’t know, made a functional, competitive F1 engine if they wanted more teams to give them a chance? Just saying.