Racing director for McLaren, Eric Boullier says they prefer to close the issue of the engines by September 2018.
The 2018 engine plans for McLaren have been a big question mark. Over the last few weeks, a break from Honda sounded almost imminent but McLaren could not find a suitable supplier from the available three.
All teams are already in the design stage for their next season’s cars, so it is no wonder McLaren wants to close these issues soon.
“Technically, you could change an engine in 12 weeks,” Boullier said at the Hungarian GP.
“If you want to do the very best job, then the latest is September if you want to do the best design.”
At one point, it looked like McLaren might replace Honda with Mercedes engine. But that did not work out well.
McLaren’s boss Zak Brown indicated that Mercedes and Ferrari were unwilling to supply engine to McLaren. During an interview with a TV channel during the British GP, he mentioned both of them were happy to see historically the most successful team at the bottom of the pile than anywhere else.
“We’re a big team that knows how to win races and championships so I think most of the teams, while it’s a shame to see where we are, they like us where we are,” Brown said.
“They don’t want to get us too close to them which is understandable.”
If this turns out to be true, the only choice left will be Renault, the 3rd best available option.
Sauber pulled out of a deal with Honda for 2018. But, Honda insists they are fully committed to F1 engine development. They are determined to make their relationship with McLaren work.
McLaren got their first double points in a race in the Hungarian GP. They now stand 9th in the constructors standing. The next two races after the summer break in Spa and Monza would give a definitive sign of the progress Honda has made in the last few weeks.