Date: 5th January 2016 at 11:04am
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It was always a bold step by McLaren to ditch the best power-unit on the grid in Mercedes to create a partnership with returning manufacturer Honda.

Ahead of the 2015 Formula One World Championship the team had a lot of hope.

The Japanese manufacturer wanted a marquee signing to indicate their ambition on their return to Formula One and wanted to make a statement and the signing of two-time Formula One Champion Fernando Alonso was the biggest marquee signing on the F1 grid.

But despite two Formula One World Champions at the wheel McLaren struggled.

Many people in the paddock believed that McLaren’s chassis design was too aggressive.

Whilst the Honda power-unit struggled with reliability and pace, with issues with its energy recovery system plaguing the teams season.

Again, was the tight packaging at the rear of the car more of a hindrance than a benefit?

McLaren racing director Eric Boullier still insists it wasn’t, despite the team scoring points at just five races all season.

‘In principle ? if you want to beat Mercedes, you have to do something better. So the way we decided to design and work was to go another path. Over ambitious? I think it is too early to say it is. We have to wait.? Boullier told

?It never impacted on the engine at all, We told them [Honda] we wanted the tightest car as possible. But we never imposed on them in terms of size of whatever.?

So what of the relationship with Honda, which at times appeared strained during 2015?

?Maybe in the pain you build a stronger relationship with your partner, With Honda, we have a much more mature relationship.

?The positive as well is that Honda understood the commitment they need to be winning one day. They have readjusted a little bit their resources level, which is good, so there are some positives out of this.