McLaren executive director Zac Brown has given a blunt assessment of the team's current position in Formula 1, conceding they've gone backwards in the development race.

It's well documented McLaren's main issue is engine supplier Honda, who partnered with the Woking outfit back in 2015. However, the three-year plan to return to winning ways hasn't been achieved as McLaren are not only not winning races, but the car is consistently failing to complete sessions.

Now it seems the team are at a breaking point after steadily dropping hints of switching engine suppliers for the 2018 season, a drastic change in response to the team's worst start to a Formula 1 season in its history.

"I don't think there's much I can say that I haven't already said, as everyone knows we're now a few years into this," Brown said.

"This year needed to be a big step forward, the season's not over yet but sitting here today it's pretty clear we've gone backwards. We're having the worst start to a Formula 1 season ever, so that's unacceptable and things need to change.

"Things need to change quickly and we won't go into 2018 in the same situation we're in now, or we won't go into 2018 with anything other than validated performance gains."

Brown has continued to reaffirm the team's working relationship with Honda, saying they're giving a 110% committed effort, however, the continued lack of performance is hurting the McLaren brand with sponsors jumping ship and a reduced distribution in prize money allocation.

With planning for the 2018 season well underway, Brown says a decision will be made on McLaren-Honda's future around the time of the summer break.

"I think it just becomes a business decision," Brown continued. "As nice as the Honda contract is, and I'm sure there's lots of teams here that would love to have the contractual relationship, at the end of the day you start losing a lot of money in prize money which is all easily documented. We lost sponsor partners to other teams.

"There isn't a firm deadline but I think it's safe to say right around the summer break you're pretty far advance in your 2018 planning. So it's got to be in that timeframe that we make decisions on what we think will get McLaren back to the front of the field and we have a strong desire for that to be with Honda."

 

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