After weeks of hectic negotiations, McLaren and Honda have agreed to end their partnership in Formula 1 racing from next season.
Honda came back to F1 to partner with McLaren in 2015. The partnership has been disastrous from the first year due to lack of power and reliability of Honda engines. Despite a lot of work from Honda engineers, they could not create an engine that could satisfy the McLaren team.
In 2017 the engine problem became so unbearable for McLaren that the split from the Honda was inevitable.
But with a lack of engine suppliers, it was not an easy decision for the Woking based team. Their attempt to get the latest engine from Ferrari and Mercedes did not work out as both the competitors were happy to see McLaren, one of the world’s most successful F1 teams, at the bottom of the constructor’s championship.
With FIA’s 3 teams limit per engine maker, it was difficult to switch from Honda to Renault, the only workable alternative.
According to sources, McLaren has agreed to a three-year deal with Renault which will guarantee supply till the end of 2020, the year the current F1 engine regulations end.
It is believed that McLaren will get a say in the power unit specification just like the Renault Works team and Red Bull. The deal between Honda and Toro Rosso has also been signed for the next season.
This also means Alonso can happily extend his contract with McLaren.
As a part of the deal, Toro Rosso will loan out Carlos Sainz to Renault, although it is unclear when the switch will actually take place.
Renault has asked for Sainz to be released earlier so that they can use him instead of Jolyon Palmer from Malaysian Grand Prix. But the junior Red Bull team is keen to hang on to him till the end of the year to boost their own score at the constructor’s championship.