Brown Likens Honda’s Formula 1 Problems to Jaguar Struggles


Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Zak Brown reckons the struggles Honda endured during their time partnering with the McLaren F1 Team were down to the Japanese manufacturer failing to adapt to the Formula 1 way quick enough, and likened it to the way the Jaguar Racing came into the sport in the early 2000s and failed to deliver the results.

In the five years between 2000 and 2004, Jaguar scored only two podiums and forty-nine points before they sold their team to Red Bull Racing, but they primarily oversaw their operations in the United States, while Honda has remained in primarily in Japan.

Brown reckons the decision not to bring operations to the United Kingdom was not ideal for Honda, nor was the lack of individuals with Formula 1 experience being brought into their set-up, and as a result, in three years of partnership with McLaren, their best results were a trio of fifth places for Fernando Alonso.

“Eric [Boullier, McLaren racing director] spoke earlier in the year about how there’s a certain way you have to operate in Formula 1 – a Formula 1 culture, and I think that’s something they [Honda] now recognise,” said Brown on stage at the Autosport International Show.

“You kind of saw the same thing with Jaguar, when they came in. They kind of did it the corporate way.

“If you look at Mercedes, they’re not based in Germany – the race team’s in England, the engine facility is in England; Renault is split between England and France.

“I think maybe some more Formula 1 experience, direct experience, is probably what they [Honda] were lacking most.”

Brown insisted the lack of results was not down to a lack of effort, and he was full of praise for the way Honda did attempt to rectify the situation, and he also feels they will get it right in Formula 1, possibly with their new partners at Scuderia Toro Rosso.

“It certainly wasn’t effort, resources – the facility is great, and I think they’ll get it right,” added Brown. “It’s more a ways of working. I think they’ll get there, but three years was as long as we could wait.”