We spoke about it on last night’s podcast but according to Autosport, the McLaren Renault deal has been done. A new engine supply contract for McLaren is believed to be a big help in securing a new multi-year deal for Fernando Alonso and the engine will have parity with the works team as well as the Red Bull Racing team.
The move also has Honda moving to Toro Rosso, which the article says is an inked deal as well, and this will also find Carlos Sainz moving to Renault as a replacement for Jolyon Palmer.
While I think McLaren will have better performance in 2018, this season hasn’t been smooth sailing for the engine maker with regards to Max Verstappen and Red Bull who have had their share of issues. If the engine is working, I would suspect that McLaren will be on par if they get their chassis correct but making a better chassis than Adiran Newey over at Red Bull is a tall order and that is, perhaps, a litmus test for how well McLaren might do against Mercedes and Ferrari.
The interesting thing for me is the Honda deal. If I were Red Bull’s Helmut Marko, I would be engaging them in a very serious way to get their engine at the top and then switch Red Bull to Honda and have their own personal engine supplier in F1. To do the very thing ron Dennis wanted to do with Honda is the first place.
That may be a pipe dream for some of you but as we mentioned on the podcast, sometime a change of people can make things happen and perhaps Red Bull can make this relationship pay dividends. That’s if they aren’t sold to Porsche in 2021.
According to Mark Hughes over at Motorsport Magazine, there is a lot of talk and no denial from either camp that Porsche may be buying Red Bull out and taking over the team with a new engine in 2021. Those rumors cropped up a few weeks ago when it was said that Porsche may be interested in entering F1 as a supplier but Mark says it is as a full works team and this would see the departure of Red Bull from F1. We’ll see.