Why McLaren ditching Honda isn't as easy as it seems

Why McLaren ditching Honda isn't as easy as it seems

Paddock gossip suggesting McLaren might announce a split from Honda in Austria proved to be just that - but it did serve to highlight a clause in Formula 1's sporting regulations that might make a divorce troublesome

FIA media conferences are sacrosanct affairs: seldom is the attendance list altered, and then only for bona fide issues or reasons of a force majeure nature. So when the governing body at Friday noon amended the line-up for part one of that afternoon's Formula 1 'team boss' conference - a misnomer given that technical and sporting staff attend, as do engine and tyre supplier delegates - in Austria, a frisson of excitement ran through the media centre.

Out went Ferrari's Maurizio Arrivabene - he who shuns the media totally unless forced into FIA conferences - and Pirelli's Mario Isola; in came Honda's Yusuke Hasegawa and McLaren's Eric Boullier, joining Mercedes motorsport director Toto Wolff on stage.

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