According to reports, Carlos Sainz has done a deal to move to from Toro Rosso to Renault Sport F1 as soon as the Malaysian Grand Prix but definitely for the 2018 season. This, the article says, paves the way for Toro Rosso to engage Honda for a engine supply deal that would free up McLaren to take the current Toro Rosso (STR) engine supply slot.
I’m not camped out in the paddock and other than McLaren desperately trying to find a way to improve their pace and retain Fernando Alonso, I am not quite sure what STR or Renault gain out of the deal other than Renault wanting to supply McLaren rather than STR and taking Sainz makes that possible. Fair enough, perhaps this deal has more than just two sets of hands on it with the FIA and F1 and McLaren heavily involved as well to keep Honda in the series as well as keep Alonso, arguably one of the sport’s biggest stars, in the series as well.
Either way, it’s good if Honda stays, Alonso stays and Sainz gets a more competitive ride. In the end, as a fan, I think it is a good solution even though I would have stayed with Honda had I been running McLaren for a host of reasons that go beyond the 2018 season. Regardless, I’m just a talking heap of meat and I don’t run either company or have a knife in the fight but as a fan, I am still happy for all involved.
It’s very important to F1 and the FIA to keep Honda in the sport and supporting their hybrid engine technology. Not that I am convinced that the entire racing world should be powered by the equivalent of the curly lightbulb but the sport needs manufacturers to lure teams, sponsors and fans. I like technology, I work in technology but I also like good racing and competitive teams and while an iPhone is terrific, at the end of the day, sometimes using the old analog method of moving air from a speaker to your ear is the best use of it regardless of how high tech it is.
For F1, I think the hybrid engines are impressive but not at the risk of good, competitive, exciting racing and I hope Honda will stay and the regulations will change in 2020 that can swing the pendulum away from F1 being an engineering nerd series intent of eliminating close racing and back to a driver’s series where people do and can make a difference at an affordable price contextually speaking. It will be important to have Honda, Ferrari, Mercedes and Renault all on board that notion as well.
Hat Tip: Autosport