McLaren failure was 'biggest lesson' - Yamamoto

<i>Image: Twitter</i>
<i>Image: Twitter</i>

Masashi Yamamoto says the failed McLaren collaboration was Honda's "biggest lesson" since the Japanese marque returned to Formula 1.

In Monaco, the Honda-powered Red Bull of Max Verstappen diced for the race lead with winner Lewis Hamilton.  He didn't even finish on the podium, but Yamamoto says it is one of the important "small victories".

"We have learned that the most important thing is to celebrate the small victories as steps forward," Yamamoto, Honda's F1 boss, told Speed Week.

It has been a hard journey for Honda since returning with McLaren in 2015, but Yamamoto says the carmaker is now targeting actual race wins.

"We must continue to focus on race wins, that's the biggest goal," he said.

But the biggest lesson, he added, was the utter failure of the McLaren days.

"That we were not fully prepared was the biggest lesson," said the Japanese.

"If we could start again, we would definitely be better prepared to get into a better position more quickly."

Honda and McLaren split after 2017, but from 2018 Honda teamed up and started making clear progress with Toro Rosso.  This year, Honda started working with Toro Rosso's parent team, Red Bull Racing.

"What we went through with McLaren was precious lessons, and we learned a lot from it.  That has brought us to where we are today."

Now, Honda is setting its sights on Mercedes.

"It will be tough, but if we stay on the road one day we will be able to fight them.  We are working in that direction.

"Motor sport is all about winning and losing, although it is probably 50 per cent pressure and 50 per cent fun.  We need to make progress according to our plan.

"Formula 1 is the best stage to tackle this challenge," added Yamamoto.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Who should have replaced Sergio Perez at this weekend's British GP?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Sebastian Vettel - At least he'll get a taste of what the 2021 car will be like
26% - 560 votes
Nico Hulkenberg - He's been with the team before
28% - 588 votes
Fernando Alonso - A true racer, and the fastest Spaniard around
33% - 708 votes
Jenson Button - Any team can benefit from a champion driver
13% - 278 votes
Vote