McLaren Formula 1 racing director Eric Boullier believes the team would be back winning races if it had Mercedes power instead of working with current partner Honda.
McLaren and Mercedes enjoyed a successful partnership in F1 between 1995 and 2014, claiming three drivers’ championships and two constructors’ titles in that period.
McLaren cut ties with Mercedes at the end of 2014 due to the latter’s focus on its factory team, and rekindled its famous partnership with Honda that ruled F1 in the late 1980s and early ’90s.
However, such form has not been forthcoming, with the relationship between McLaren and Honda at maximum strain after a difficult pre-season test period filled with reliability issues.
McLaren’s current race win drought dates back to the 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix, and it hasn’t scored a podium since Australia 2014.
Speaking to Spanish publication AS, Boullier said he is sure McLaren would be winning races if it still worked with Mercedes instead of Honda.
“I think we would. Yes, we’d be winning again,” Boullier conceded, before admitting that McLaren had to be competitive if it wanted to keep Fernando Alonso on its books.
Two-time world champion Alonso has made his frustration regarding Honda’s power unit clear in recent weeks, and is now in the final year of his McLaren contract.
“He wants to be competitive because he has talent to show the world and to himself,” Boullier said.
“We need to be competitive to keep him happy. If we’re competitive he’ll be happy.
“If not, he’ll take his own decisions.”