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Brown confirms McLaren will make decision over engine deal next week

  • Published on 03 Sep 2017 16:48
  • comments 12
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Zak Brown says that McLaren will make a decision on who will supply the team with engines next season in the coming week. A strong rumour in the Italian paddock is that the Woking outfit will part ways with Honda after three seasons of poor results.

The McLaren-Honda partnership reformed in 2015 after former CEO Ron Dennis stated it would be impossible for McLaren to win a championship running a customer engine. However, Honda has failed to produce a unit that competes with the other manufacturers in terms of speed and reliability.

After a torrid Italian Grand Prix that saw both McLaren's retire, Brown said that the time has come for McLaren to make a decision over who it will run with next year: "It's more than one problem but it's fairly consistent, MGU-K, MGU-H we've had lots of failures there," he told Sky Sports.

"We think we understand the lack of power in the engine. It's not different problems all the time but its a few problems. I don't think that will happen [being left without an engine]. It's not what we will allow to happen. The regulations are in the middle of the year so for a fourth team is to be supplied. We've been very close with the FIA and Chase Carey and they're being very helpful to get through this.

"We need to get more competitive. This weekend showed we're not making any significant progress. How long can you wait before you have upset drivers, partners, fans? They're hanging in there with us but it can't go on forever.

"We need to make a decision this week, that timeframe, or ultimately we'll be in a position where we cause some problems, technically, with our chassis. We can't solve our power issue and turn up with a chassis that is not adequate."

Fernando Alonso has frequently vented his frustration with Honda and would surely silently welcome an exit for the Japanese manufacturer. With the Spaniard's contract running out at the end of the season, Brown thinks it is likely he will stick around if McLaren-Renault was formed.

"I think it's very likely. I seem to have a lot of breakfasts now with Fernando. He loves the team, he's passionate as ever to drive. He wants to be in Formula 1 and wants us to be more competitive. I wouldn't rule him out if it remains status quo. With the stuff that are seeing and we will further review this week. I wouldn't say that it's a foregone conclusion that if we do stay with Honda he won't remain with us."

 

Fergal Walsh

Replies (12)

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  • ZUKMAN

    Posts: 40

    End of 2014: "We need to get more competitive." Swapped Mercedes for Honda.
    End of 2016: "We need to get more competitive." Swapped Honda for Renault?
    2018 new horizon of competitiveness?

    • + 0
    • Sep 3 2017 - 17:23
    • It will likely be if Alonso leaves, knowing his luck.

      • + 0
      • Sep 3 2017 - 17:35
  • xoya

    Posts: 563

    Probably the best (and most expensive) solution would be to start producing their own engine.

    • + 0
    • Sep 3 2017 - 19:37
    • Kevin

      Posts: 4,597

      They have zero experience in developing engines. All of their road car engines are developed by Ricardo. If the biggest engine manufacturer in the world can't develop a competitive and reliable engine in three years, McLaren can't either. Best solution is to stick with Honda.

      • + 1
      • Sep 3 2017 - 20:06
    • xoya

      Posts: 563

      I agree, although developing their engine would prove best in the (very) long run.

      • + 0
      • Sep 4 2017 - 00:32
  • boudy

    Posts: 1,168

    Looks like they won't stick with Honda. Redbull will take over from them (mcLaren) unless VW comes into the frame. Most likely scenario is torro rosso next year and redbull and torro rosso after. They might even switch both teams to Honda. Interesting times ...

    • + 0
    • Sep 3 2017 - 22:11
  • dr002

    Posts: 141

    With Alonso’s on track criticisms, and the way that McLaren have been handling things recently in the media and in the public eye, I wonder if Honda are keen to sever ties with them also.

    • + 0
    • Sep 3 2017 - 23:29
  • Harryw

    Posts: 105

    Id love them to develop their own long term. Short term any other engine manufacturers likely to be keen on joining f1?

    • + 0
    • Sep 3 2017 - 23:45
    • Either Porsche or Audi from the VW group, Cosworth could make a return, Toyota isnt uninterested, and Nissan/Infiniti are rumoured to be considering it. Those are the ones I know of my head, could be more or less.

      • + 0
      • Sep 4 2017 - 20:22
  • boudy

    Posts: 1,168

    No way they would do that... however there might be an overlap with fe. I can see mcLaren develop their own plant for that series since there will be practical applications for both series. For me it would make sense for mcLaren to start with fe next to f1. Not sure how much that would cost but it would be benifical to be in both series.

    • + 0
    • Sep 4 2017 - 06:42
    • Arent they already developing certain components for that series?

      • + 0
      • Sep 4 2017 - 20:20
    • boudy

      Posts: 1,168

      They were using an uniform battery pack from williams technology. I believe mcLaren supplies the control unit for sensors.

      • + 1
      • Sep 4 2017 - 23:04

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