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McLaren eyes return to podium with Renault in 2018

  • Published on 26 Oct 2017 16:54
  • comments 12
  • By: Rob Veenstra

McLaren wants Renault to power the once-great British team back to the podium in 2018. After three bad years with Honda, McLaren has dumped the Japanese manufacturer to switch to customer Renault power units. But McLaren boss Zak Brown denies that the decision to dump Honda was made because of pressure applied by Fernando Alonso.

"He never came and said 'We need a new engine'," he told Auto Motor und Sport. "Fernando just wanted to know what our plan was about taking a step closer to the front with our power unit," Brown said.

He says another major consideration was that after three fallow years, McLaren simply could not afford to languish again in 2018. "We have many talented people that the other teams would love to have," said Brown. "We have to provide a healthy platform."

However, dumping Honda will cost McLaren dear, due to lost sponsorship, a Renault engine bill and Alonso's reportedly EUR 30 million 2018 retainer. Brown said: "We have very good shareholders who put the performance of the team first. And we have a lot of money in the bank."

And so he says he is looking forward to a better showing in 2018. "It feels like a new start," he said. "We now have everything we need to be competitive."

However, Brown is warning that fellow Renault-powered teams including Red Bull have a head start over McLaren. And he added: "The guys at the front are very fast. We need to bring our A-game. We're hoping for podium finishes. But if we put the podium as a definite target and finish fourth, then we would be disappointed. But actually that would be our best result in years. Will we be able to win the title next year? There a risk of setting the bar too high."

On the other hand, Brown said he likes what he sees from Renault so far. "We've been at the engine factory a few times and we like what we see," he confirmed. (GMM)

Replies (12)

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  • If it is really possible, things will be spiced up in 2018.

    • + 0
    • Oct 26 2017 - 17:55
  • Kean

    Posts: 679

    I'm really looking forward to the Red Bull vs. McLaren battle. Hopefully they can bring it to Mercedes and Ferrari. I suspect next years pecking order will be: Mercedes - Ferrari - Red Bull - McLaren - Renault - Force India - Williams - Sauber - Haas - Toro Rosso.

    • + 0
    • Oct 26 2017 - 18:50
  • You liked what you saw from Honda before 2017 aswell, didnt you guys?

    • + 0
    • Oct 26 2017 - 19:26
  • RacetoWin

    Posts: 95

    Mclaren will be worse off next season, not a chance to get on the podium.

    They are getting the customer renault engine, the same as this years toro rosso, they will not get the factory team spec engine or the Tag heur redbull modified renault powerplant.

    mclaren will once again be outside the top 10 and even behind the toro rosso honda team.

    this was a dumb move by the inexperienced Rob Brown.

    • + 0
    • Oct 26 2017 - 19:47
    • There is only 1 Renault engine. All 3 teams have the exact same engine. If you think otherwise, prove it with a source.

      • + 0
      • Oct 26 2017 - 21:21
  • mbmwe36

    Posts: 533

    Here we go again. I really don't get why they don't STFU, and be a little more humble in their approach. They've cried wolf so many times it gets old.
    I don't really see them getting near the podium next year. They will probably find themselves where they are now, in the middle/top of the best of the rest. You'll also have to believe that Renault will make some headway with their works team, the way they've been investing lately. Then there's the wild card of Toro Rosso - if, and that's a big if, Honda can get that PU to fire on all cylinders, then all bets are off. Force India will probably also be a handful for a Renault powered McLaren, sooo it could end up being 2015 all over again.

    • + 1
    • Oct 26 2017 - 19:51
    • WOLF WOLF WOLF! What did you say? WOLFWOLFWOLF! Cant hear you! WOLFWOFLWOLF!Im A McLaren boss!WOLFWOLFOWLFOLWOLF!

      Now, jokes aside, I expect them to perform better next year, but I doubt they will be the Red Bull challenger some seem to dream of. At best they'll challenge Renault. And yes, TR can literally be anywhere next year.

      • + 0
      • Oct 26 2017 - 19:59
    • Because they're trying to attract sponsor, duh.

      • + 0
      • Oct 26 2017 - 21:21
    • mbmwe36

      Posts: 533

      Yes, and that strategy has worked wonders in recent years. The sponsors have just been lining up when McLaren goes into hyperbole mode.

      • + 0
      • Oct 26 2017 - 23:16
    • Modesty certainly won't attract them. McLaren are bound to improve next year, of course they're shouting it from the rooftops so potential sponsors will hear it.

      • + 0
      • Oct 27 2017 - 09:26
    • ^This!

      • + 0
      • Oct 27 2017 - 10:41
  • if 600sec Alonso is as good as they claim, Red bull will have hard time, passing McLaren.

    • + 0
    • Oct 26 2017 - 22:16

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