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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.

Hat Tip: Autosport and Motorsport Magazine

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An F1 fan since 1972, NC has spent over 25 years in the technology industry focusing on technology integration, AV systems integration, digital media strategies, technology planning, consulting, speaking, presenting, sales, content strategy, marketing and brand building.
  • Tom Firth

    It will be good for McLaren if they instantly have an improvement in performance and this becomes a sustained improvement. It will be terrible for McLaren if nothing changes, it will be even catastrophic for McLaren if Honda go to Toro Rosso and are competitive within a matter of months.

    That will give the impression to any future manufacturer wanting to pair with McLaren in the future that McLaren was partly the problem in that relationship and may discourage a new partner from working with them. The Renault deal seems more of a life raft for McLaren than a very long term organised partnership like the Honda deal was supposed to be. Think that may be with someone else after 2021.

    • jakobusvdl

      It doesn’t seem that there is any confirmation from McLaren themselves. But if it is a done deal, that is a huge condemnation of Honda’s ability to develop a competitive and reliable p.u.
      The pressure will really be on the McLaren chassis and aero teams to develop a car which is at least as good as RBR (the current benchmark for a Renault p.u propelled car) and probably one that can overcome the power deficiency to allow them to compete with Ferrari and Mercedes. That is quite some ask, even with Alonso driving.
      Especially as Renault are aiming to achieve the same outcome, and the Mercedes powered teams of Williams and Force India have got extra money and technical resources to close their gap to Mercedes too.
      Tough times in the mid pack, should make for some compelling racing.

  • Tom Firth

    Also if we believe the rumours then. Is Red Bull eventually going to offload Toro Rosso to Honda and Red Bull to Porsche in the future. You wanted manufacturers returning right?

    • Junipero Mariano

      That was my thinking too. Faenza sees the possibility of being cut free from Red Bull either due to budget or change of ownership. It probably means much less stress for Honda also, as the expectations for Toro Rosso don’t carry the legendary baggage of McLaren-Honda.

  • 莫龍山

    porsche buying red bull will be a dream come true for me. i’ll become an even bigger fan of F1.

    • the Late Idi Armin

      Umm, how is VW going explain how its allowing Porsche to spend big bucks on a formula one campaign when its diesel ‘fraud’ is still on going. Probably Porsche want to do this but VW says nien

      • Meine Postma

        Nein!

        • the Late Idi Armin

          exactly

      • runnah

        The Porsche, Audi, VW family is a lot like Game of Thrones, lots of inbreeding and a few less dragons.

        So technically Porsche SE controls 50.7% of the Volkswagan Auto Group. Therefore if they want to go racing they have a majority claim. That said it would probably not be that easy of a task.

        • FryDaddy

          VERDAD! With the majority of the voting shares in the “family,” Porsche SE controls the company. But as with any family, just because you CAN do something doesn’t mean the you SHOULD or WILL.
          The follow up question is of course, which Porsche entity wants the deal? AG or SE?

  • aelfwald

    Disaster. All this for a 15bhp improvement, which could turn in to a 15bhp deficit by the time 2018 starts. McLaren are now destined to be mid field fodder with no way out. Say what you want about Ron Dennis at least he knows how to run a race team. McLaren is now being run by a failed racing driver, a watch dude and the Bahrain Royal Family. They should’ve stuck with Jost Capito over Brown, at least he had proven winning pedigree.

  • jakobusvdl

    Just a reminder of what Renault, Honda and Ferrari are competing against,
    https://www.autosport.com/f1/news/131772/mercedes-engine-hits-remarkable-dyno-target
    Heck, these hybrids are incredible machines, a revolution in p.u efficency.

  • Paul KieferJr

    If the Porsche rumors of true, that might end up being Red Bull’s salvation. Given Honda’s performance as an engine manufacturer, I would see RBR falling like a giant boulder while McLaren finally climbs up out of the dregs.

  • Andrea_Rae

    I hope it works out for all involved. Ferrarri, McLaren, Mercedes, Renault and Red Bull being competitive would be hella awesome!!

    Since it’s silly season, let’s say Max moves on to Ferrari or Mercedes at the end of his contract and Honda starts constructing a competitive engine would Alonso be welcome at Red Bull or would Honda nix that discussion?

  • TheMan

    So, poor old Jolyon Palmer has to go back to scrubbing his old man’s bathroom? Who cares? Neither of them could drive worth a damn and never belonged in F1 in the first place. I think it is high time that F1 makes pay drivers illegal so we don’t have to put up with drones such as Maldonado, et al.