McLaren CEO Ron Dennis is confident that the team can return to winning ways in 2015 after reforging its famed partnership with Japanese enginer supplier Honda.
McLaren-Honda dominated Formula 1 in the late 1980s and early 1990s, with Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost winning four world titles between them as their rivalry etched itself into the sport’s folklore.
After six years away from F1, Honda has returned in 2015 to exclusively power McLaren, and Dennis is confident that it can take both parties back to the top of the sport despite starting one year after the other engine manufacturers with the new V6 units.
“Honda is a phenomenally committed company and the challenge we face together as we approach the 2015 season is just huge,” he explained. “Our competitors have had one year’s head start, which again amplifies the challenge. The rules and regulations have never been so complex for the power units.
“As we approach this first grand prix, the expectation becomes more intensive. The pressure from our fans, our drivers, our sponsors, the media gets more and more intense, but we are ready for the challenge.”
Said ‘challenge’ is reviving McLaren’s fortunes, with the team not winning a grand prix in over two years and finishing a lowly fifth in the constructors’ champinship in 2014.
Despite the enormity of the task, Dennis believes that the team can aim to win a race in the near future before going on to clinch the first McLaren-Honda championship since 1991 in the coming years.
“I hope to be stood here in the not too distant future celebrating the world championships that I’m very confident we will win together, given some time,” he boldy said.
“The first challenge is to win a first grand prix and, in the short term, compete in Australia and finish with the most competitive result that we can possibly have.”