McLaren and Honda say split "in best interests"

Honda's president says that he agreed with McLaren in the end that it was best for both companies to split at the end of this season, as their divorce was made official on Friday.

McLaren and Honda say split "in best interests"
McLaren MCL32 nose and front wing
 Nico Hulkenberg, Renault Sport F1 Team Team RS17, Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren MCL32
Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren MCL32 and Fernando Alonso, McLaren MCL32
 Fernando Alonso, McLaren MCL32, in the pits
 Fernando Alonso, McLaren MCL32
McLaren garage

As news of the McLaren-Honda break-up was formally confirmed at the Singapore Grand Prix, Takahiro Hachigo said he was sad the partnership had not delivered results, but said that in the end it would not have been good for them to stay together.

"It is unfortunate that we must part ways with McLaren before fulfilling our ambitions, however, we made the decision with a belief that this is the best course of action for each other's future," he said, in a statement issued by McLaren.

"On behalf of Honda, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to fans who have been very supportive of the team as well as the drivers, team members and everyone involved who shared with us in the joys and disappointments since we began preparing for our return to F1 in 2015.

"Honda will continue the fight together with McLaren all the way to the end of the 2017 season, and then continue its F1 racing activities in 2018 and beyond."

McLaren executive chairman Shaikh Mohammed bin Essa Al Khalifa echoed Honda's thoughts about the need to split.

"At this point in time, it is in the best interests of both companies that we pursue our racing ambitions separately," he said.

McLaren executive director Zak Brown acknowledged that while Honda had not delivered success on track, it had been committed to at least trying to make progress.

"There has never been any doubt over Honda's commitment and energy to the mission of success in Formula 1," he said. "They are proven winners and innovators.

"For a combination of reasons our partnership has not flourished as any of us would have wished. It is certainly not for the want of effort on the part of either Honda or McLaren, but the time has come to move ahead in different directions.

"As fellow racers, we hope to see the great name of Honda get back to the top – our sport is better for their involvement. I know this view is shared by everyone in the sport."

McLaren will switch to Renault engines next year, while Honda will power Toro Rosso.

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