A dilemma of huge proportions is what the McLaren Formula 1 team board of directors are currently experiencing.

The problem, which has been evident to everybody in the motorsport world, is with the up-to-now unwavering faith the team have shown in the Honda F1 engine project and it is a faith that has been totally unrewarded, even threatening to take this great team, the second most successful in Formula 1 after Ferrari, down to the ranks of also-rans.

That ranking in itself would be flattering at this point in the 2017 season where not a single point has been achieved after round seven of the year with 10 power unit related failures from 14 race starts, the latest while Fernando Alonso was within touching distance of McLaren's first point of the season at the Canadian GP. Add this number to the untold number of engine failures in practice sessions.

The financial implications for McLaren are bad enough but the loss of standing in the sport, the simple loss of 'Mana' for a better word, could continue to have repercussions a long way forward.

The team has deep pockets and is willing to use whatever resources it has in order to right the ship but when, or if, that happens will they still have the same talented workforce of designers, engineers and mechanics to rely on?

Those people have egos and aspirations, just like Fernando Alonso, and they need to be in a team or organisation where success, or failure, is dependant on their efforts and not be subject to the failings of an inward looking engine manufacturer that has a seemingly blinkered approach to actually building a power unit that can compete, or even be reliable enough to last a race. Motivation is a powerful force, demotivation is hard to cure.

It is impossible to estimate the financial cost of this ineptitude by the engineers in Japan to a team such as McLaren. Loss of huge income from the sport itself, loss of sponsors, loss of the 'rate card' for prospective investors or partners, more practical affects like loss of certain F1 privileges, the demotion in the paddock to the smallest garage area, the worst garage space, list goes on.

The costs of running a team like McLaren do not diminish. They need the best engineers, the best drivers, the best of everything in order to reclaim their position in the sport but unfortunately they do not have the best, or anywhere near the best, power unit to compete on the track.

The reasons that Ron Dennis, the long serving CEO of the team, decided to align the team with Honda from the 2015 season onwards were valid. With the Mercedes engine then in the car he considered that no customer of Mercedes, or any other manufacturer, would ever win the championship as a customer so the team had to be a 'works' team.

With a long standing and highly successful partnership with Honda in the past, winning multiple constructors and drivers titles and Honda wanting to re-join the sport, the association was logical. Unfortunately the Honda engine department of the past is clearly not the Honda of the present.

As a past member of the team, I feel not only extreme disappointment in the current situation but also an anger that this McLaren team, the team that I consider to be the best that the sport has ever known, should sink so low, should have been brought almost to it's knees, by something over which it has no control but is so fundamental.

What control they do have is whether to cut the losses and move on or to keep the faith.

There is the dilemma. Should they jump or should they stay? If they jump will the Honda power unit suddenly come good?

There is no doubt that Honda supplies the team with a lot of hard cash, tens of millions of dollars, as well as power units and that money would not only be lost but many millions more would need to be spent by McLaren to acquire a supply of Mercedes, or any other engine suppliers, units.

We still see, in the Honda after race press releases, meaningless comments such as those made by Yuseke Hasegawa, the head of the Honda F1 engine project "There is still a gap between us and our competitors and we must continue to improve our reliability ..... we cannot stay in our current position and we will maintain our tireless development in order to close that gap".

Was this release written three years ago or last Monday after the Canadian Grand Prix?
In fact these hollow words could have been either but it was just a week ago.

The late Soichiro Honda himself, the genius who began the Honda company said "Racing improves the breed" and "If Honda does not race, there is no Honda".

If Honda continues to supply power units in the current fashion to McLaren there may be no McLaren in future.

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