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.

"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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