McLaren F1 Team Reportedly Approaches Mercedes-Benz For Engine Supply Deal

McLaren’s Formula 1 team switched from Mercedes engines to Honda units back in 2015, but recent rumors from multiple sources claim that it wants to go back.
Mclaren MCL32 Formula 1 car 11 photos
Photo: McLaren
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The team's drivers have stated their discontent for the Honda engine in the pre-season testing round in Barcelona, and it looks like the team has been listening to their inputs.

As Fernando Alonso explained, the Honda unit is “the team’s only problem,” and he motivated his opinion with the fact that his car was about 30 km/h slower on the straights than the ones driven by competitors.

The journalists at ESPN have noted that Alonso also complained about reliability issues after the first tests, which involved 148 laps of the Circuit de Catalunya. The rivals at Mercedes managed to squeeze in an extra lap during the three days of testing at that time.

However, Alonso did say that there’s no concern for the championship’s inaugural race, held in Australia, where he believes that the team will be ready to compete at a right level. In spite of the team’s best efforts, he did state that he would not know how much power will he get on race day.

According to the reports that announced a potential engine change for the McLaren Formula 1 team, the deal would only happen if the Honda relationship will not work according to contract and the partners’ expectations. However, there’s a chance that McLaren might buy engines from Mercedes for the 2018 season of Formula 1.

Back in 2015, when the switch from Mercedes to Honda was made, McLaren boss at the time, the legendary Ron Dennis, said that “customer F1 teams” could never win a championship under the current engine regulations.

At the time, he stated that works teams had a huge advantage thanks to more time to develop the relationship between the ICE unit and the hybrid system, which is considered to be the most important thing on an F1 powertrain these days. Dennis also believed that “client teams” did not get the best engines from their suppliers, whoever those were.
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About the author: Sebastian Toma
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Sebastian's love for cars began at a young age. Little did he know that a career would emerge from this passion (and that it would not, sadly, involve being a professional racecar driver). In over fourteen years, he got behind the wheel of several hundred vehicles and in the offices of the most important car publications in his homeland.
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