Eric Boullier has said he is open to Honda supplying a second team with engines, but only after evaluating what that would mean to McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team.
Double the amount of data gathered and evaluated would certainly be beneficial considering the Honda power unit’s less than adequate performance since their return in 2015.
However, you don’t get anything for nothing in life and twice the number of engines needing manufacture could stretch the partnership too thin and prove even more detrimental to the Woking-based outfit.
The possibility of other cars running with Honda engines has previously looked impossible, but McLaren’s interest could now make that a reality.
Boullier is cautious, however, as McLaren cannot afford to suffer a further drop in ability as their last podium was achieved in 2014 and they are currently sitting bottom of the constructors’ table.
“More teams is better, more teams running is better definitely, [but] there’s always a price to pay for that which is obviously deviating our resources to maybe build more engines,” he said.
“Whatever happens, we are partners, so at some stage there will be a second team, and I think we will have to support this.
“But we have to make sure it’s not detrimental to our partnership with Honda.”
When asked if Honda supplying another competitor prior to this season would have had a negative impact on McLaren, Boullier replied, “Yes. I still believe it’s easier today to be honest.
“I think review all the scenarios, say we are open all the offices, we need to hold the files. Today I think we have a more or less clear path where to go and how in terms of faster and – let’s say not guaranteed because we can’t guarantee anything – but I think a recovery plan, I think we have something falling into place.
“Then we can let’s say focus or be distracted with another team and support us. We need first to have this recovery plan. Three years in a row being where we are, it’s not possible now, so we have to break through and step up.”
Sauber F1 Team is rumoured to be discussing the possibility of running a Honda engine for 2018, with the team currently reliant on an old Scuderia Ferrari power unit.