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Featured McLaren in Informal Engine Talks with Mercedes

Discussion in 'Formula 1' started by Bethonie Waring, Mar 16, 2017.

  1. Bethonie Waring

    Bethonie Waring
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    mclaren mercedes.jpg When Honda returned to Formula One with McLaren, there was plenty of talk of the glory days of Senna and Prost. Since then, people’s expectations for McLaren have dropped considerably, and now the team is in informal discussions with Mercedes about returning to the German engines.

    McLaren is just “evaluating options in the event the relationship with Honda cannot be made to work” but, with the relationship not having been made to work so far, it seems like a switch to Mercedes engines in the near future is more than likely.

    Though Eric Boullier said during testing last week that there was no plan to end the Honda relationship, he told the Spanish press the team could win with a Mercedes engine.

    It would almost definitely be the best choice for McLaren on the race track. Though it would mean a car redesign as the current car was designed with the Honda engine in mind, the Mercedes engine would certainly mean an improvement for McLaren, who were the slowest team in preseason testing.

    But it’s not just the on track impact that would come into the decision.

    First, McLaren would need to find a way out of the multi-year contract with Honda.

    Honda supply free engines to McLaren, whereas becoming a Mercedes customer team would require an annual fee of £14.8 million. Then there’s the fact Honda pays half McLaren’s driver-salary bill (no small contribution with Fernando Alonso on board), and pay a “significant” sponsorship contribution.

    Where McLaren would make up the time on the track, it would be a huge financial blow to the team. McLaren’s shareholders would have to plug the gap themselves for the time being, as McLaren is yet to secure a major sponsorship deal.

    And finally, can McLaren win a championship with Mercedes? Back when the team switched to Honda power, the team – and Ron Dennis in particular – said it was impossible for a customer team to win the championship and, so far in the new era, neither of Mercedes customer teams have been close to the reigning champions. And to be fighting for the championship is what star driver Alonso has always said he wanted to do.

    Of course, it's not really in a position to win championships with Honda, but McLaren would be taking the step back to where it was in 2014, making the whole journey with Honda a waste of time.

    Talks between McLaren and Mercedes are informal and no resolution has been decided, but this can’t be good news for Honda’s morale.

    For more Formula One news and discussions head over to the RaceDepartment Formula One sub forum and join in with your fellow community members.

    Should McLaren return to Mercedes power or do you want to see them push on with Honda? Let us know in the comments below!
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2017
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  2. arniesan

    arniesan
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    They should stick it out with Honda.
    If Alonso wants to jump ship so be it; there are good drivers around that would be happy to get into a MacLaren car...even one that is under performing.
    With all the problems reverting back to Merc' engines, (new chassis design for one), they would not be front runners by far this coming season anyway and a lot can happen in a year with Honda.
     
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  3. Yannick Van Broeck

    Yannick Van Broeck
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    Noone can blame Mclaren to go looking elsewhere really. Honda had plenty of time (over 3 seasons) to produce a reliable engine and so far they failed miserably. It's normal their patience is wearing thin.
    I do think that they shouldn't be pressured by an Alonso exit if they fail to deliver this season. Yes, he's one of the better drivers on the grid but there other good (and cheaper) drivers too.

    The only thing that worries me is that if they do switch from engine supplier they really need to do a whole redesign of the chassis etc..
     
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  4. ClimaxF1

    ClimaxF1

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    I would make the switch but only they know the financial implications and then there's time which they do not have.
    Back in the days you could not touch Mclaren with all the sponsorship deals they had until they made the engine change and then gradually they started loosing all their sponsors which of Mercedes reaped the benefits.
    To me that would make the most sense and I think everybody would like to see Mclaren competing on top again. Sure's hell would make the race a lot more interesting with Alonso killing it with his driving style and passion.
     
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  5. Sky

    Sky

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    At this point, having no engine wouldn't make much difference.
     
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  6. Matthew Booth

    Matthew Booth

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    It'll be interesting to see what happens presumably Mercedes still have Manor's engines for 2017 ready (since not long out of business) Wonder if they would fit nicely in a Mclaren.
     
  7. Fabian Biehne

    Fabian Biehne
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    Imagine McLaren switch to Merc for next year and the Honda engine will be the one to beat in 2018. #justmindblowthings
     
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  8. Matthew Allington

    Matthew Allington

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    Knowing that Alonso has a much talent in being in the wrong place at the wrong time as he does for driving, I can imagine that this would happen with Alonso staying at McLaren :p
     
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  9. Tim Meuris

    Tim Meuris

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    As a Hondafan I would stick with them, but i fully understand why mc laren is looking at other options. As mclaren i wouldn't let me be put under pressure by alonso. The guy is good but way too expensive. I do hope for stoffel that honda cleand up this mess soon. I really d like to see what he's able to do with a competitive car...
     
  10. James Cook

    James Cook
    Marcas fan

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    What a nightmare for this once great team. I think Honda has had ample time to get their act together.
     
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  11. Andy 'Mars Bar' Graham

    Andy 'Mars Bar' Graham

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    McLaren probably won't be competitive until a serious change in engine regulations... There isn't a good scenario for them apart from that
     
  12. TomcatMF

    TomcatMF

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    Honestly Honda's continued failure to produce a good powerplant really show the absurdity of this formula. These things are way too complex for a manufacturer to jump into the fray and expect to be competitive in a reasonable period of time. 3 years and they still haven't figured it out. It is only made worse by the testing restrictions in the name of cost cutting. If F1 wants all this high tech stuff as part of the sport, then they should open the ability for the teams to test the hardware properly. If they want to keep costs down, then they should use simpler and proven technology.
     
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  13. nangu

    nangu

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    100% Agree

    I backed McLaren when they decided the way to win was to not have a Mercedes engine, but I was exceptical if Honda were be able to deliver in time because the complexities imposed by the current UP designs. It was a difficult move to do, but in F1 if you don't take risks you don't win.

    I don't know what would do inside MCL pants today :-(
     
  14. Matheus Machado

    Matheus Machado
    Talking Door Racing Premium

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    I don't think a Mercedes engine would be the best option for McLaren. Although anything seems better than Honda at that time.
     
  15. Terry Rock

    Terry Rock

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    It's absolutely 'insane' to think with all of Honda's money and technology, they still can't get that engine fast and reliable.
    That speaks volumes.
     
  16. Joe Moore

    Joe Moore

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    I would like to see a in house Mclaren engine in the back of there car .
     
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  17. Matthew Allington

    Matthew Allington

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    To ad to that point - McLaren manufacture their own engines for their road cars, don't they?
     
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  18. Alex Townsend

    Alex Townsend
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    Sorry for adding on to a post a couple of weeks old but this has really been niggling away on my mind.
    All the manufacturer teams that currently compete, Ferrari, Mercedes and Renault, don't they not only design the chassis but also build the power units?
    Anyone know why McLaren has to outsource when the others don't?
     
  19. Jan Larsen

    Jan Larsen
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    This will be a guess, but I simply dont think they have the resources for it. Money and knowledge. Creating road car engines is not the same as creating F1 powerunits. Also, by outsourcing the PU means they can concentrate on the chassis development, or thats the idea. In reality they cant with all the PU issues.

    But I agree that if McLaren ever wants to win a championship again, with the current engine formula, they need an in-house engine development and cut the link to Japan. It will take time, and money, but eventually they'll catch up. Honda has been a disaster in F1 since the early 90's when the turbos dissapeared. Their last foray in the 00's was riddled with issues as well with engines blowing up left right and center. But at least they made decent power back then.
     
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