McLaren stepped away from Mercedes at the end of the 2014 season, opting to return to what they hoped would be the glory days of the 80s/90s with the return of famed Japanese outfit, Honda. However, what followed, was abject failure for both parties, but more so on the side of the power unit suppliers after countless MGU-H failures, with Fernando Alonso especially, getting the raw side of the reliability.
This was mainly brought to light in awkward circumstances at the 2015 Japanese Grand Prix which eminated from Suzuka as an outpaced Alonso was heard exclaiming that the engine output was akin to that of a GP2 (Formula 2) unit. Alonso's statement was a massive wake up for Honda who it must be admitted, did somewhat increase the power output for the Woking team however it did not prove to be good enough as McLaren continued to languish at the back with Manor Racing and Sauber.
In 2016, the reliability was truly woeful and many wondered if McLaren would stay on for the 2017 season with their tumultous relationship with Honda, but bravely, they held out for hope of improvements.
But, this did not arrive as the relationship was beyond breaking point when halfway through the season, it was announced that McLaren would formally divorce from Honda at the conclusion of the 2017 season, opting to sign with Renault for the 2018 campaign, with RedBull Racing's sister team Scuderia Toro Rosso, adopting the Honda power unit from 2018 onwards.
Given how Renault proppeled RedBull to 4 World Titles and had many successes with their own factory team in years gone by, can they deliver a power unit to match the chassis that will allow the fabled Surrey team to compete at the front of the grid once again?
The majority of F1 fans will be hoping that this is the case and especially for Fernando Alonso, who enters the twilight of his career. As a fan favourite, many would like to see him reignite his jousts of the past with Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel.