Lauda tips McLaren-Honda to bounce back
Mercedes F1 team chairman Niki Lauda has tipped Fernando Alonso and McLaren-Honda to bounce back from their current trough.
The once-great team’s abysmal 2015 was summed up in Hungarian qualifying, when Spaniard Alonso broke down and pushed his hopeless MP4-30 back to the pits.
But former McLaren champion Lauda tipped the team’s struggling engine supplier Honda to bounce back.
“It is quite understandable what they are going through,” the F1 legend told Spain’s El Pais newspaper. “Because these engines are extremely complex. They have no power and reliability now, but this is normal.
“But I warn you: those Japanese are going to give everything to get back up and to succeed,” Lauda, now team chairman of the dominant Mercedes outfit, added.
The great Austrian also said it is wrong to surmise that Alonso’s decision to return to McLaren in 2015 could mean he will never again taste title success.
“Fernando is having a hard time now,” Lauda said, “but he knows that things will improve.
“I talked to him in Austria and he is 100 per cent committed. The reasons why he left Ferrari are irrelevant, but he is a great professional who has no choice now but to contribute everything so that McLaren succeeds.”