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!