McLaren Team boss confirms Mclaren won’t take gearbox services from Mercedes but will start purchasing engines from 2021.
The McLaren-Mercedes partnership in Formula 1 is one for the ages. The partnership which lasted for 19 years yielded 78 wins, 3 drivers, and a constructor’s title in 1998.
However, McLaren is now making some amends in the alliance and have decided to discontinue gearbox services from Mercedes from next season onwards but will start purchasing engines from the German manufacturers from 2021, snubbing Renault’s product.
How did this epic partnership become a reality?
McLaren is a veteran of Formula 1, along with Ferrari and Williams, among the current grid. They are most well-known for McLaren’s Honda and Porsche partnership in the 80s.
This saw legends Aryton Senna, Niki Lauda and Alain Prost racing for them, and winning titles. Senna, Lauda and Prost make up the ‘Holy Trinity’ of F1 racing in the 80s.
After the stupendous success, a struggle followed after Honda withdrew from Formula One in the early 90s. Then came in Mercedes, and the rest is history.
Mika Hakkinen won titles in 1998 and 1999 before Ferrari and Michael Schumacher took F1 by storm. And yes, current champion Lewis Hamilton won his first-ever title in a McLaren-Mercedes in 2008. This was the last title this partnership yielded, and in 2015, McLaren switched back to Honda.
Most Races with an Engine Supplier (252)
Competing with McLaren and Mercedes, the Brit has started all of his races with a Mercedes power unit. Not a bad choice! 😉 pic.twitter.com/9MHZY3ijiK
— Team Mercedes (@TeamMercedesUK) July 18, 2020
McLaren’s three-year Renault collaboration
Renault has been the engine suppliers to McLaren since 2018. After an average first two years, with 6th and 4th place finishes, the partnership is thriving this season.
McLaren is third this season after three races, with the first podium for Lando Norris at Austria. Crucially, McLaren is performing considerably better than Renault.
McLaren Team Boss Andreas Seidl did a Renault partnership assessment of the season so far. “In the first three races, we had no problems at all. We have completed all qualifying sessions and races so far. This is a good step forward compared to last year”.
What does the Mclaren-Mercedes partnership have in store?
McLaren is returning to Mercedes engine supplies from 2021 but will continue to develop the gearbox themselves. There were suggestions that it is Mercedes who have taken this call, but Seidl rubbished those claims, as per Motorsport-Total.com.
“There is no change in our strategy. We may have a Mercedes engine next year, but we never planned to replace the gearbox. That’s why we’ll continue to build our own gearbox.”