The McLaren Formula 1 team, who has used Renault engines since last year, will switch to Mercedes engines from the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship season, the BBC reported on Friday, September 27, from the Russian Grand Prix in Sochi.
The decision,reviving a partnership that previously ran from 1995 until the end of 2014, has been made as McLaren seek to return to competitiveness after a dip in fortunes in recent years.
“This agreement is an important step in our long-term plan to return to success in Formula 1,” said McLaren Racing boss Zak Brown.
Brown added, “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.”
After the previous partnership completed, McLaren made an ill-fated switch to Honda which lasted for three years, then switched to Renault last year.
McLaren’s decision to return to Mercedes is based on two key factors – the Mercedes engine has been stronger than Renault’s since turbo-hybrid engines were introduced in 2014 and a customer supply with the German company is cheaper, BBC reported.
“McLaren have been putting in place the building blocks of their revival over recent seasons, including impressive performances this season with Renault power,” said Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff.
“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.”
In reaction to the announcement Renault F1 boss, Cyril Abiteboul, said, “Since our partnership began, McLaren has gone from ninth to fourth position in the Constructors’ Championship.
“We can therefore consider this a very successful relationship. However, 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,” he added.
McLaren’s move to Mercedes in 2021 will leave Renault with only one team using its engines – its own factory team.
Whereas, Mercedes supplies its factory team as well as Racing Point and Williams – and now McLaren from 2021. Ferrari supplies Alfa Romeo and Haas in addition to its own works team.
Honda now supplies Red Bull and their junior team Toro Rosso.
The last time McLaren won a Grand Prix was in Brazil 2012 with Jenson Button driving the Mercedes powered MP4-27.
McLaren powered by Mercedes won 77 times during a successful F1 partnership that began in the mid-nineties and delivered three drivers’ titles, a couple with Mika Hakkinen in 1998-1999 and one with Lewis Hamilton in 2008.