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McLaren to return to Mercedes power in 2021

  • Published on 28 Sep 2019 09:28
  • comments 9
  • By: Fergal Walsh

McLaren has confirmed that it will not use Renault power units beyond the 2020 season, ending the partnership that was formed last year.

The Woking squad also announced that it will return to Mercedes units, reuniting the partnership that was held between the two manufacturers from 1995 to 2014.

McLaren won one world constructors' championship in partnership with Mercedes, and three drivers' championships.

"We are delighted to welcome McLaren back to the Mercedes-Benz racing family with this new power unit supply agreement," said Mercedes' Toto Wolff.

"Although the two brands share a prestigious history, this new agreement is all about looking to the future and beginning a new era of power unit supply for the years ahead. McLaren have been putting in place the building blocks of their revival over recent seasons, including impressive performances this season with Renault power.

"We hope that this new long-term agreement marks another milestone for McLaren as they aim to take the fight to the sport's top teams, including our Mercedes works team."

The partnership between McLaren and Mercedes ended after the 2014 season when McLaren switched to Honda, who re-entered the sport in 2015 as an engine supplier.

However, after a difficult handful of years, McLaren opted to end its deal with Honda, who is currently supplying units to Red Bull and its sister team Toro Rosso. 

McLaren took on Renault units, but endured a difficult 2018 campaign before making strides this season, currently heading Renault in the constructors' championship. 

Renault managing director Cyril Abiteboul added: "Since our partnership began, McLaren has gone from ninth to fourth position in the constructors’ championship.

"We can therefore consider this a very successful relationship. However, while looking beyond the terms of the current contract, which concludes at the end of 2020, it was apparent that Renault and McLaren have different ambitions for the future.

"Each of the different elements of this decision have been carefully evaluated over the past few weeks. 2021 will be a crucial season for all teams and it is important for us to have a precise and clear view of the strengths and ambitions of our competitors going forward.

"This decision is in line with Renault’s vision to become a works’ team, with a goal to return to the front.

"Renault will continue to honour its commitments to McLaren Racing next season, as has always been the case over our long history of engine supply."

Mercedes switch an 'important step' for McLaren

In the final year of the Mclaren-Mercedes partnership of 2014, the team secured a double podium finish at the season opening Australian Grand Prix, with Kevin Magnussen and Jenson Button securing second and third respectively.

"This agreement is an important step in our long-term plan to return to success in Formula 1," stated McLaren CEO Zak Brown. "Mercedes is the benchmark, both as a team and a power unit, so it is natural we would seek to secure a relationship with the company for the next phase of our journey.

"This announcement reflects the confidence of our shareholders and is an important message to our investors, employees, partners and fans that we are committed to returning McLaren to the front of the field."

McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl added: "2021 will be an important milestone for us as a team as we continue our long-term recovery plan and it is vital that we have the core elements in place now, to enable us to properly prepare for the new era of the sport.

"Renault remains both a valued partner as well as a formidable competitor, and we look forward to continuing our relationship through the rest of this season and next."

Replies (9)

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  • wow! didn't see this coming

    • + 0
    • Sep 28 2019 - 09:45
    • siggy74

      Posts: 194

      The unanswered question is who is going to switch to Renault engines ;p

      As this will seriously reduce the data collection for Renault.

      • + 0
      • Sep 28 2019 - 10:36
    • I'm guessing nobody

      • + 0
      • Sep 28 2019 - 12:14
    • Dert38

      Posts: 354

      im guessing max will get stealth model branded honda-th as number one number one driver

      • + 0
      • Sep 28 2019 - 13:18
  • Wow! The new guy is brutal. But, it makes sense. No Ferrari customer would like to give up their engines. That would leave only Merc on the table. Wake up call for Renault i guess.

    • + 0
    • Sep 28 2019 - 12:06
    • Dert38

      Posts: 354

      rather wake down for mclaren as they won't even fight top3...

      • + 0
      • Sep 28 2019 - 13:14
  • Kean

    Posts: 692

    I guess this means they've received special permission since Williams and Racing Point will also receive Merc power. Is this a good thing, Mercedes supplying so many PU's? Is it a bad thing for Renault only supplying their own team? Perhaps this was a welcome turn of events for Renault, so they can focus solely on themselves. I don't know but I'm glad McLaren-Mercedes will be back. Perhaps this rumored new team, who wants to join F1 on a similar model as that of Haas are looking to buy everything they can from Renault...

    • + 0
    • Sep 28 2019 - 13:51
    • Is this a good thing, Mercedes supplying so many PU's? It's neither good or bad. They are already getting ample data from their 3 teams, so it won't give them an unfair advantage, and we've already seen that the Merc' PU ain't quite as overpowered as it used to be.
      Is it a bad thing for Renault only supplying their own team? Yes, no doubt. Less funds running in, and less data funneled into their project. And now they loose their reference.

      • + 1
      • Sep 29 2019 - 09:15
  • Good news for McLaren. I think this new McLaren could have the potential to utilize the Merc' PUs far better than the old one ever could. As for Abiteboul's comments: clearly Renault are salty about this. But McLaren are brave to declare their non-commitment to Renault this early. I fully expect Renault to commence with their "accidentally not having enough spare parts" from now on.

    • + 0
    • Sep 29 2019 - 09:17

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