The MP4-31 has some pace in it and could be a genuine contender for fifth in the makes’ race. What will be interesting will be whether Honda can develop the engine, given that they are still battling with the original architecture, i.e. the turbo inside the V angle. It may be, of course, that they are waiting to start again for 2017 with whatever gets decided – or not – on the rules front.
Talking of the rules and the to-ing and fro-ing, the atmosphere inside the paddock has been pretty toxic of late. Don’t get me wrong, F1 is still mega, with quality teams and drivers, but the indecision and politicking is horrendous. The gamesmanship among the six distinct camps – Bernie Ecclestone, Jean Todt, Mercedes, Ferrari, Red Bull, and the rest – is staggering.
Look at the qualifying fiasco at the start of the year. That was nothing to do with the actual qualifying procedure or if it worked or not; it was all about politics and who could outdo the other.
It’s a shame as the racing has been good. The qualifying issue perfectly highlights the problem with the governance of F1. It’s very easy to jump on the bandwagon and have a pop at F1. The sport doesn’t help itself though; its marketing is all negativity and not everyone is on message. That’s the opposite in Formula E and the World Endurance Championship, where they just sing their own praises, which is the right thing to do.