So Red Bull have made the switch to Honda for next season.
I think this season has shown the Honda engine wasn't as poor as McLaren would have us believe and I think this could be a good move for Red Bull.
It's interesting that it's a two year deal and I think it is a great one for Red Bull. It gives them the luxury of sampling Honda and find out if they're a worthy partner before launching into the 2021 era and and all its vast technical changes that will come with it. I'm sure during those next two years they'll request that Honda develop them an engine that is the class of the field from 2021 onwards. Alternatively during that time they could sound out other partners who may look to come into f1 with the new proposed changes. Either way, I think they're well placed for the 2021 season and have probably stolen a march on their rivals on that basis.
I think Honda showed progression in their second season with McLaren (2016) after their disastrous first season but they shot themselves in the foot when they decided to go back to square one by completely redesigning their power unit, Honda even admitting themselves that it was a high risk strrategy. So in that respect I thought McLaren were badly let down last year and what they became was basically a test vehicle to sort out Honda's problems of which they've progressed and rectified this season, to the benefit of Toro Rosso and Red Bull.
That's not me excusing McLaren though. Even before Honda joined up with them in 2015 they were by far the worst Mercedes powered team on a grid and a season where Mercedes power unit advantage was at its strongest (so much that Williams were regular podium scorers...and probably should have won a race!). That says a lot about the faulty design process that has been operating within McLaren for years. I read John Barnard's comments today on Sky about how McLaren's technical setup was based on how the aerospace industry works, design by committee in effect, in that the structure implemented at McLaren could, in theory, easily sustain itself and not be impacted if and when key personnel left the organisation.
I recently bought Adrian Newey's autobiography 'How To Build A Car' (I couldn't recommend this book highly enough - one of, if not the best f1 book I've ever read) and he said the exact same thing to the point where he was being overruled on major decisions regarding the design and build of cars by a 'committee' or as they call them at McLaren 'mullahs'. Sure enough, during Newey's latter seasons at McLaren they were never that successful and far from operating a system that would ensure stability and regular success at McLaren, the system has only served to restrict and curb genius and innovation in the team. To any observer of F1, casual or die hard, success in F1 is build on individual brilliance on the track and off it. Develop a system that doesn't lessen the importance of individuals. Create one that allows them to flourish - McLaren should refer to Ross Brawn's methods in that respect!