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Toro Rosso Get Honda, McLaren Go Renault and The Driver Market

Discussion in 'Formula 1' started by Paul Jeffrey, Sep 14, 2017.

  1. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief Staff Premium

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    Toro Rosso Honda Engine Deal.jpg
    The long running McLaren Honda saga appears to finally be at an end, with some interesting impacts of the current driver market for F1 2018.

    McLaren have reportedly negotiated an early termination of their Honda alliance in Formula One, switching allegiance to the Renault brand in a move that will see the once proud Japanese engine builders move over to Toro Rosso on a three year deal, keeping alive the manufacturers Formula One ambitions in what could potential be a very astute move from the Japanese concern, with potential to switch supply to Red Bull in future seasons should the performance of the Honda power unit improve from 2018.

    With Honda firmly secured in a Toro Rosso / Red Bull alliance the way has been paved for McLaren to secure their much chased Renault partnership, signing up as a customer to the French term until 2021, guaranteeing the British team engine parity with the works Renault outfit and fellow customer squad Red Bull.

    Coming about due to increased pressure from lead driver Fernando Alonso to ditch the woeful Honda units for next season, McLaren are thought to be keen to tie in with the French brand to give the ailing squad a performance leg up next year while they assess options to either build their own units from 2021, or entice a new manufacturer into the sport in an official works capacity.

    With Toro Rosso now thought to have secured a three year deal for Honda power from 2018, an interesting change in the dynamic of the driver market has emerged, with Carlos Sainz Jr reportedly moving over to Renault as part of the deal, a prime seat in the Red Bull junior team has opened up for next year, presenting one of the best remaining spots on the grid available for a raft of young drivers looking to make the switch to Formula One next season.

    Red Bull have a number of talented drivers waiting in the wings for a Formula One chance, not least of which is young Frenchman Pierre Gasly, however Honda is thought to be keen on promoting Japanese talent with either F2 protégé Nobuharu Matsushita or young GP3 driver Nirei Fukuzumi both thought to be in the running for a potential seat next season.

    In the short term the rumour doing the rounds in the F1 paddock had Carlos Sainz Jr moving to Renault as early as the Malaysian Grand Prix round, with Toro Rosso drafting in Gasly in something of an assessment of his performances ahead of next season.

    One thing seems fairly certain now the engine merry go round has come to a conclusion, Fernando Alonso looks likely to stay at McLaren for at least the next two seasons, with the 36 year old Spaniard looking for opportunities to add to his 32 Grand Prix victories achieved since making his Formula One debut back in 2001. With Sainz and Hulkenberg tied up at Renault, Bottas recently resigned with Mercedes Benz and Felipe Massa thought highly likely to remain for another season in the second Williams seat, the only real opportunities for a competitive drive next season remain in the newly vacated Toro Rosso cockpit of Sainz.

    The Sainz / Renault tie up may well come as a blow to Sergio Perez and his ambitions of moving up the grid, with the Mexican thought to have been in detailed contract negotiations with Renault about a drive for next season. Perez comes with some considerable Mexican backing and being over 25 could still interest a Williams team looking for experience to pair with the youth of Lance Stroll, however once again it does look like the driver market silly season may well be sorting itself out earlier than is usually the case in recent years.

    It is expected that official announcements of the McLaren Renault, Toro Rosso Honda and Carlos Sainz Jr to Renault contracts will be announced during the Singapore Grand Prix Weekend.

    For more Formula One news and discussion head over to the Formula One sub forum and get involved in the conversation today!

    Do you think the move by Toro Rosso to sign up Honda will prove to be the right call over time? Can Honda produce a competitive engine in future seasons? Will McLaren be able to fight at the front with Renault power? Let us know in the comments section below!
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2017
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  2. Gopher04

    Gopher04
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    Wow I think the question here is, who got the wooden soon..:roflmao:
     
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  3. Brice.S.

    Brice.S.
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    Nothing is confirmed for now, so don't go too fast.... (some will say it's barely impossible to go too fast with a honda engine, lol)
    @++
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2017
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  4. Stuart Gillard

    Stuart Gillard
    Sir Ropey Premium

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    I was thinking the same thing ;) neither power unit is particularly brilliant with the Renault having a slight advantage over the Honda in terms of performance but both have somewhat poor reliability.

    So...am I missing something here...? How this is a good deal for either team.

    If the development cycle of these two power units continues into 2018 like it has over the past couple of years then neither team will be making much of a mark in 2018, they will still be running towards the middle/back of the field with the likes of Mercedes and Ferrari powered cars pushing towards the front.

    Lets just hope both engine manufactures make monster power units for next year and can really compete with the likes of Mercedes and Ferrari, it's a big ask however it has been done before, they both certainly have the finances to do it but can they pull it off..:O_o:
     
  5. Witti

    Witti

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    Let's see if McLaren and Red Bull fight for 3rd next saison.
     
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  6. Edivad82

    Edivad82

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    Good Luck!
     
  7. Mark Aalberts

    Mark Aalberts

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    At least we get to see how good the McLaren chassis really is, it gets praised a lot but I yet have to see if it is really that good as they say it is. And then I don't even start about the reliability of the Renault engines, maybe Alonso should talk with the drivers that uses Renault Engines this year. One thing I would like to highlight which probably many don't know and in fact is openly admitted by one driver. This year a new Renault engine that arrived at the race track ready to be mounted appeared to have a broken crankshaft! Talking about quality issues.

    The strong part of the Red Bull is that they are compensating the "weak" engine with a low drag concept. Anyone ever wondered why the Red Bull have been performing really well on the relative low down force tracks this year??? Its because of this concept and the mechanical grip it produces which is on par with the superior teams. The McLaren chassis is much more Aero depended so i yet have to see if Renault is going to bring them much further to the front. 4th is highest they can get i think.

    The biggest mistake McLaren ever made was ditching the Merc engine's. But ofcourse this is mr Hindsight.:D
     
  8. MoerasGrizzly

    MoerasGrizzly
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    Best case scenario: Mclaren will be able to fight with Red Bull
    probably going to happen: Alonso will get verstappen's engine. Kyvat gets Alonso's engine.
     
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  9. Ghoults

    Ghoults

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    Some of the more crazy rumors might suggest that there are some pretty big maneuverings going on. Rumors about red bull being sold to porsche and red bull taking honda engines in 2019. How this all actually happens or not is interesting to see. In best case scenario there could be 5 competetent teams gunning for wins in couple of years. Mercedes, ferrari, mclaren, red bull/porsche and renault. Hopefully renault manages to build a competent engine sooner rather than later. I think everybody have given up on hope with honda but f1 really needs more teams in the sharp end of the grid to stop the mercedes/ferrari total domination.
     
  10. John Addison

    John Addison
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    In keeping with the history of poor ole Fernando Alonso's decision making.......Toro Rosso will win the 2018 drivers championship with Honda and Alonso will finally shoot himself! ;)
     
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  11. BlindDeadMacSlow

    BlindDeadMacSlow

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    Why can't all cars just have the same engine, be equal in terms of performance, aero etc & then we can have a genuine drivers championship rather than an 'I'm champion because I had a rocket under my ass & the other guy had a shopping trolley' scenario
     
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  12. MoerasGrizzly

    MoerasGrizzly
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    GT3, Formula Renault, IndyCar, there's probably a few others, but they all are very close in terms of machinery.
     
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  13. Brice.S.

    Brice.S.
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    Talking about 1968-1984 F1 with the "legendary" V8 Corthworth ? ;)
    that was like you said : all (except ferrari, and those trying the matra engine) were with same engine, and you know what , that was the best years of F1 (Golden Years)
    @++
     
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  14. M-Bimmer

    M-Bimmer
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    Could someone refresh our memories why McLaren went with Honda in the first place?
     
  15. NASCRAP

    NASCRAP

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    I'm so disappointed that Alonso is staying in this joke series.
     
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  16. Andrew Harper

    Andrew Harper
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    I think Ron Dennis believed in having a works engine deal is the key to success and in principle he's right.

    Whether he sweet talked Honda into coming back I can't remember now but his thinking was along the right lines but its just failed really badly. Not his fault, Honda for one reason or another just can't get their act together.

    I think if Ron was still there the Renault deal wouldn't have happened he would have stuck it out (even if he lost Alonso). As some of you have mentioned above, we assume this is a customer engine deal so they will always be one or two specs behind the works team and I don't think he would have gone that route.

    McLaren haven't always done well with works deals anyway, I'm sure some of us remember the Peugeot engine deal. It was overweight, underpowered and blew up in spectacular fashion quite often! From there they went to Mercedes and the rest is history. Previously it was the Ford engine and Senna was very unhappy driving a car with a customer supply. I wonder if Alonso will be the same?

    However Renault have moved mountains to try and solve all their problems and in the most part they have succeeded. Yes the engine still has problems but compared to Honda they have done a much better job.
     
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  17. Dave Stephenson

    Dave Stephenson
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    [​IMG]
     
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  18. pcraenme

    pcraenme

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    Finally Sauber is getting some competition for the last position!:D A Torro Rosso with a Honda engine.:roflmao: And it will be interesting to compare Red Bull, McLaren and Renault using the same engine. How great would it be if Renault could build an engine next year that can compete with Mercedes and Ferrari? Hamilton, Vettel, Alonso, Ricciardo and Verstappen... 5 potential world champions! But probably the French won't be able to build such an engine... Why would next year be different?
     
  19. Wedge

    Wedge

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    Except that you guys are missing that RBR uses the same engine and is fighting for 3rd. So yeah, it's an improvement for McLaren and I'd say they have a better chassis and aerokit than RBR.

    For Toro Rosso I also think it's a nice deal, once Honda get their sh*t together they'll have a competitive engine. Of course McLaren can't risk another season. But in three years, I'd say don't mess with the japanese :p

    As for the Carlos Sainz deal, it's clearly a desperate move by Renault to ditch Palmer that, if I'm not mistaken, hasn't score a single point for the team so far. For both it's a good deal, since a seat on RBR would hard for Sainz to get and Renault gets a pretty good and competitive second driver. Win-win situation here.

    I'm also not so sure if Massa will stay at Williams, specially if Jenson Button decides to come back for 2018, unless McLaren, now with a new engine, decides to give Button his seat back and puts Vandoorne on ice or free to go - but I think Vandoorne already renewed his contract with the team, which I'd say was a smart move now.
     
  20. Ghoults

    Ghoults

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    I don't think so. Ron is not idiot and would have seen that honda is not getting any better. The move to go with honda was smart move originally. At the time nobody could think of honda engine being so disastrously terrible even after 3 years. It has been nothing but pure catastrophe. Just total failure. But at least ron tried. Hindsight is always the best. In the end without engine manufacturer backing you can only be the best of the rest.
     
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