McLaren have confirmed that they will take on Mercedes engines from the 2021 season, ending their partnership with Renault.
After a torrid three years with Honda engines, McLaren switched to Renault power for the 2018 season in a bid to avoid the consistent power failures they had with the Japanese firm.
The move paid dividends for the Woking based team, with McLaren enjoying their best season in Formula 1 since they left Mercedes at the end of the 2014 season.
But McLaren feel that Renault are still some way behind the likes of Mercedes and Ferrari and that by returning to Mercedes – who were engine partners with McLaren during the 1990’s and up until 2014 – they will be able to make further progress.
“This agreement is an important step in our long-term plan to return to success in Formula 1.” commented McLaren Team Principal Zak Brown.
“Mercedes is the benchmark, both as a team and a power unit, so it is natural we would seek to secure a relationship with the company for the next phase of our journey.
“This announcement reflects the confidence of our shareholders and is an important message to our investors, our team, partners and fans that we are committed to returning McLaren to the front of the field.”
McLaren’s move to Mercedes means that the Silver Arrows will now have three customer suppliers for the 2021 season, with the team already having agreements in place with Racing Point and Williams.
Speaking about the announcement, Mercedes Team Principal, Toto Wolff said: “We are delighted to welcome McLaren back to the Mercedes-Benz racing family with this new power unit supply agreement.”
“McLaren have been putting in place the building blocks of their revival over recent seasons, including impressive performances this season with Renault power.
“We hope that this new long-term agreement marks another milestone for McLaren as they aim to take the fight to the sport’s top teams, including our Mercedes works team.”
Renault have confirmed that while they were in talks with McLaren about extending their engine partnership, it was clear that both teams had different visions for the future.
With McLaren re-joining Mercedes, it means that Renault will no longer have any customers to supply engines to, and they feel this will help them in their push to become a race-wining works’ team.
“While looking beyond the terms of the current contract, which concludes at the end of 2020, it was apparent that Renault and McLaren have different ambitions for the future.” added Renault Team Principal, Cyril Abiteboul.
“Each of the different elements of this decision have been carefully evaluated over the past few weeks. 2021 will be a crucial season for all teams and it is important for us to have a precise and clear view of the strengths and ambitions of our competitors going forward.
“This decision is in line with Renault’s vision to become a works’ team, with a goal to return to the front.
“Renault will continue to honour its commitments to McLaren Racing next season, as has always been the case over our long history of engine supply.”