I'd like to hear Gunks views. but if all this was Ron's fault (a theory I love BTW) then it's a pretty big coincidence that they messed up that engine, and failed to produce a new engine that worked in time for testing.
I just don't see why such a consistently mediocre job year on year engenders such blind faith that they will become competitive.
You read so many accounts, who knows.
Perhaps the word 'mediocre' is a little strong. The fact is, Mercedes and Ferrari keep raising the bar. Honda may meet their target, but it's out of date by the time it's executed. This is I believe what happened to the nano concept. It couldn't develop enough to deliver the power that Mercedes were finding.
I read today that Merc and their customers will have the latest spec PU in Australia. Again, more power than even in Barcelona a couple of weeks ago. Without rubbishing Honda, I do think they'll be playing eternal catch up. Ferrari has been finding new materials, piston designs, injection techniques . . . it is rocket science. They're just so far behind the learning curve.
It's fundamentally why I disagree with Alan Jones. I think unfreezing engine development only puts Honda further behind. The vibration problem Honda experienced in testing sounded rather like the issues Renault were experiencing two years ago. Something about harmonic resonances. Honda will sort it, but by this time Renault will have moved on again. One imagines that only the new regulations will level the playing field.
In Renault's darkest hour, RBR brought in Mario Ilien and he was working in parallel with Renault Sport. I now learn that Zak Brown is a director of Cosworth. Seems like an option to me.