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Mercedes not commenting on McLaren engine rumours

  • Published on 28 Mar 2017 12:44
  • comments 10
  • By: Rob Veenstra

Niki Lauda has dodged speculation Mercedes could step in to help McLaren solve its performance crisis. Rumours swept the Melbourne paddock last weekend that, now into its third hapless season with works engine partner and sponsor Honda, McLaren is finally looking for the exit.

The rumour goes that Eric Boullier is behind a plan to offload the Honda deal to Sauber, and tie up a return to customer Mercedes power for McLaren -- perhaps even within this season. "I cannot comment on this because I do not know about it," Mercedes team chairman Niki Lauda is quoted by Germany's Sport1.

In Melbourne, Mercedes chief Toto Wolff was also asked about the McLaren rumours but would not comment except to say he wants a "level playing field" in F1 as well as multiple manufacturers on the grid. But one theory is that Honda has now acknowledged its major design error with the 2017 power unit, and is rushing to introduce a new concept in the next two months. "In two months, around the Monaco grand prix, Honda hopes to have a new engine," former F1 test driver Bas Leinders told the Belgian news agency Sporza.

But amid signs that the Spaniard's long patience is also now up, Fernando Alonso does not sound optimistic. "There has to be a miracle from god to help us -- something more than we are doing at the moment," he is quoted by the Spanish sports daily AS. (GMM)

Replies (10)

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  • There is a reason why Honda have recently started talking to other teams. The breakup is coming, just needs to be ironed out on the legal fronts and the payments of penalties for severance.

    • + 0
    • Mar 28 2017 - 14:33
  • ianf1

    Posts: 185

    Wouldn't it be ironic if Honda went to Sauber, and then suddenly found the magic bullet? That would make me chuckle....

    • + 0
    • Mar 28 2017 - 15:12
    • ZUKMAN

      Posts: 40

      Would love to see Alonso's face in that case.

      • + 0
      • Mar 28 2017 - 17:26
    • mbmwe36

      Posts: 533

      That would be hysterical. And if you're Sauber, you wanna take that chance, as they would probably get a very sweet deal, and performance wise (even worst case scenario) it can't be much worse than an outdated Ferrari engine.

      • + 0
      • Mar 28 2017 - 20:59
    • Would be hilarious. And Sauber could use the money Honda can offer, so even in that way it'd make sense for them to gun for a Honda PU.

      • + 0
      • Mar 28 2017 - 21:16
    • @MBMWE36, don't kid yourself even the "outdated" 1 year old Ferrari PU is very powerful, the Honda is just a big pile of sh!t

      • + 0
      • Mar 29 2017 - 02:49
    • mbmwe36

      Posts: 533

      mclarenfan > Right, but I also said it can't me much worse. The fact is, Saber is more likely than not gonna find themselves at the back of the grid regardless. And with all things being equal, you'd think there's more potential in an engine that's being regularly updated. But then again, we are talking about Honda, so who knows.

      • + 0
      • Mar 29 2017 - 09:39
    • ianf1

      Posts: 185

      Sauber + current Honda engine = much more than 107% of the leaders quali time - does that rule still exist / get enforced?

      • + 0
      • Mar 29 2017 - 10:10
    • Vet5

      Posts: 225

      @IANF1, yeah the 107% rule still exists, which i think is a load of bollocks lol

      • + 0
      • Mar 29 2017 - 10:12
    • 107% exists for safety reasons because extremely slow cars pose a sudden closing distance problem into the braking zones.

      • + 0
      • Mar 29 2017 - 12:25

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