Automakers commit to three seasons together
McLaren will use Renault engines starting in the 2018 Formula 1 season, the automakers confirmed today after much speculation on the matter. The deal ends McLaren’s troubled three-year run with Honda.
Both McLaren and Renault have long histories with Formula One, but next season will mark the first time the two brands have worked together. They have committed to an engine supply partnership through the 2020 season.
“We’re convinced that we can bring real value to Renault Sport Racing as we work alongside it to develop this current power unit into a regular race winner,” McLaren Technology Group Executive Director Zak Brown said in a statement.
McLaren said it linked up with Renault because of the company’s ability to build engines that help win championships. Thanks to Renault’s engines, Red Bull has scored six wins since the start of the Mercedes turbo-hybrid era in 2014, as Reuters points out.
The demise of the McLaren-Honda partnership ends all hope of reviving the success the two companies once shared in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Honda will now supply engines for Toro Rosso, owned by Red Bull.
“For a combination of reasons our partnership has not flourished as any of us would have wished,” Brown said in a statement. “It is certainly not for the want of effort on the part of either Honda or McLaren, but the time has come to move ahead in different directions.”
“It is unfortunate that we must part ways with McLaren before fulfilling our ambitions, however, we made the decision with a belief that this is the best course of action for each other’s future,” said Honda boss Takahiro Hachigo in a statement. “Honda will continue the fight together with McLaren all the way to the end of the 2017 season, and then continue its F1 racing activities in 2018 and beyond.”
McLaren’s switch-up was announced at the Singapore Grand Prix.