From 2021 the McLaren F1 team will switch from Renault to Mercedes power, reviving a partnership that lasted from 1995 until the end of 2014.
Lewis Hamilton began his Formula One career at McLaren Mercedes, and won his first World Championship in one of its cars in 2008. Mika Häkkinen won his two World Championships with the team in 1998 and 1999.
McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown said the new agreement “is an important step in [the team’s] long-term plan to return to success in Formula 1”.
It switched from Mercedes to Honda power for 2015, but ditched them at the end of the 2017 season after a string of poor results. Then team boss Eric Boullier said McLaren’s partnership with Honda had been a “proper disaster in terms of credibility and getting new sponsors”.
Then team boss Eric Boullier said McLaren’s partnership with Honda had been a “proper disaster in terms of credibility and getting new sponsors”.
Last season McLaren began using Renault engines. 2018 was not a good season, but this year it’s currently fourth in the constructors’ standings behind only Mercedes, Ferrari and the (ahem) Honda-powered Red Bull.
The new agreement commits McLaren to using Mercedes power units from 2021 until at least 2024. 2021, of course, is when a new set of technical regulations kick-in that ought to make engines noisier and more powerful.
STORY Tom Harrison