Lewis Hamilton is surprised that McLaren did not ditch struggling Formula 1 engine partner Honda sooner after his former team announced last Friday it would be parting company with the Japanese marque at the end of the season.

McLaren and Honda have been struggling at the back of the grid since linking up in 2015, with their split for next year being confirmed last week ahead of the British team's switch to a Renault engine supply.

Hamilton raced with McLaren between 2007 and 2012, claiming his first F1 title with the team, and is hopeful the change will mark a new beginning for McLaren.

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"I’m surprised it didn’t happen sooner to be honest," Hamilton said.

"It's been a long, hard slog for the both of them so hopefully this will spark a new start for McLaren, because they should be in the fight with us.

"Who knows, maybe Honda will come back in years to come?"

With McLaren and Renault working together from 2018, Honda will remain in the sport via a customer supply to Toro Rosso, with suggestions of a future Red Bull deal also circulating the paddock in Singapore.

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This story is titled as if Lewis set out specifically to make and convey a damning position on the McLaren-Honda split. From what I read, it appears that his ponder about the split not having happened earlier was only an incidental part of his remarks, which were rather mainly about the trials of the team and his hope that both it and even Honda will do well. The story in my view could have been more accurately titled: "Lewis hopes both McLaren and Honda will rebound notwithstanding split". But I guess that doesn't really sensationallize and milk the comments enough, does it?