The McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team have today confirmed that they will be powered by Renault in 2018, having agreed to terminate their partnership with Honda at the end of the 2017 season.
Renault will supply McLaren with power units until the end of the 2020 season, in a partnership that will mark the first time the two teams have worked together throughout their Formula 1 history.
Having struggled through three demoralising seasons of under powered engines and seemingly never-ending reliability problems since rekindling their partnership with Honda in 2015, McLaren finally decided that enough was enough and moved to strike a deal with Renault going forward.
The Woking based squad were clear in their choice of manufacturer, opting to go with Renault for their proven ability to build championship-winning engines, for not only its own team in times gone by, but customer teams as well, such as Red Bull Racing, who achieved four constructors’ championships in succession with Renault power.
Although it is unlikely McLaren will be able to challenge the likes of Scuderia Ferrari or the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team any time soon, with the MCL32 chassis and aero package rumoured to be one of the best on the grid this year, the switch to Renault power should provide a significant boost in performance.
Even to fight with the likes of Red Bull, who are currently the third best team, would be a huge step up from where they are currently languishing down the order, and much closer to where McLaren feel a team of their calibre should rightly be.
McLaren Technology Group Executive Director Zak Brown believes the deal will allow McLaren to once again challenge for victories, and will also mean they can finally push forward with their 2018 design.
“Today’s announcement gives us the stability we need to move ahead with our chassis and technical programme for 2018 without any further hesitation.
“As an organisation, McLaren has always worked extremely hard to form lasting partnerships with its technical suppliers. We’re convinced that we can bring real value to Renault Sport Racing as we work alongside it to develop this current power unit into a regular race winner.”
Renault Sport Racing Managing Director Cyril Abiteboul is looking forward to working with McLaren for the first time. A team he sees as “inspirational”.
“We are pleased to confirm a new partnership for Renault Sport Racing and McLaren Racing and excited to embark on this new relationship of these two historic brands in Formula 1 cooperating together for the first time.
“This agreement is perfectly in line with our mid-term strategy and with our objective to be in a winning position as a team in 2020. We are looking forward to seeing the Renault brand on next year’s McLaren and racing our new partners on track.
“McLaren is an inspirational team with two talented drivers which should not only support our engine development efforts but also act as a reference and an example in the ongoing construction of our chassis operations.
“This is an exciting new beginning with a championship-winning team that is hungry to return to glory.”