Deal is done. McLaren Renault & Toro Rosso Honda for 2018

Reports in Germany say the announcement will come at the Singapore Grand Prix, it is believed that the deal has been completed and we’ll see a swop of Power Units in 2018.

With the final jigsaw piece falling into place with the announcement at the weekend, that Carlos Sainz will leave Toro Rosso for the works Renault team next year as a sweetener for the transition. The very talented Carlos has certainly outgrown his time at Toro Rosso so his leaving the Red Bull stable isn’t a huge surprise.

Originally the announcement was set for Monza but delays in discussions between the parties meant the announcement had to wait until the next race at Singapore. Indeed it seemed that the governing body FIA and FOM mandated that McLaren had the right not to be blackmailed into keeping Honda and so had a part to play in the discussions. Honda made it very clear that they’d only work with McLaren in Formula One or they’d leave. Had such a ultimatum occurred, McLaren would not have an engine supply as the other manufacturers are limited to supply a set number of teams.

Many have argued that McLaren simply can’t afford to ditch Honda as they provide the driver salaries along with free engine supply and development. But Zak Brown, boss of McLaren had already made clear that in order for McLaren to prosper, they need to be further up that grid and that was his priority. Indeed, their desire to keep Alonso was foremost in their mind with this decision.

Now the deal has been done, Toro Rosso will likely begin the slow disentanglement from Red Bull and become the works Honda team. Interesting times ahead.

Please let us know if McLaren should’ve stuck it out with Honda and let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

30 responses to “Deal is done. McLaren Renault & Toro Rosso Honda for 2018

  1. As a Honda driver I can’t fault my road car on performance or realibilty, but Hondas efforts from the 60’s onwards in F1 have been mediocre at best. If they have their own works team they fail and they don’t listen to the team when they supply engines, it does make you wonder how they’ve made a success of Indy cars through the years.

  2. decision may well bite them in the ass. I have no doubt that Honda will get on top of their problems and their, engines could well end up dominating F1 like they did in the 80’s. Granted it has been taking them a while but they are making progress and from what I understand they didn’t intend to come back to F1 as early as they did, they wanted at least another year to develop but McLaren were desperate for engines after the split with Mercedes.
    Renault haven’t exactly trounced the opposition yet! Although I do believe they too will get up with the best in the end.

  3. “Now the deal has been done, Toro Rosso will likely begin the slow disentanglement from Red Bull and become the works Honda team.”

    I question that. I think that Red Bull are to a large degree using Toro Rosso as guinea pigs to see if Honda can get the engine competitive. If Honda do, Red Bull will start using them. It’s clear that Renault want to focus on engine development for themselves and not have to answer to Red Bull and Red Bull want a works deal.

    For the me the big team winners are Renault and Toro Rosso. Renault get a very good up and coming driver in Sainz for nothing. Toro Rosso get a load of new cash coming in and potentially a much more competitive engine.

    McLaren have got out of the Honda situation with a better engine, the loss of $100M, and not much else. I still see them as a mid-field team in 2018

      • You can chart Red Bull’s commitment to F1 by looking at how well the team is doing. When they are winning they are fully committed. When they aren’t they threaten to leave. The partnership with Renault is at a dead end. The partnership as the exclusive Honda user is, if the engine gets sorted out, exactly what they want. If it doesn’t work out I could see them leave, unless they have someone like Porsche sitting in the wings when the new engine spec comes into effect.

        • I agree. The same thing happens with some of the other teams like Mercedes who have a history of getting out when things don’t go their way.

    • So the TR Honda is to be a ‘stalking horse’ for Red Bull which in a sense is probably TR’s primary purpose!

    • I guess we are here chating because we want honda to stay ,but not like is proven twice before with honda and toyota in the recent ages,that they CANNOT do it on there i am sure they are having secont thoughs about staying-all this bearning oil story-the way mercedes handles the rules-pretty discusting.

      • I think it likely that behind the scenes RB have insisted that things must change at Honda and they will want a say in the PU development with one or more RB people at least indirectly involved.

  4. VW/Porsche for when the new engine regs come into play. What’s to stop them testing in the back of a LeMan prototype and stealing a couple of years development on others? Red Bull even have their own circuit.

    • Audi is already out of LMP and Porsche will be after this season.
      The VW problems is that they have just announced to pour euro into the transition to electric to be done by 2030. Porsche might want to keep some ICE/hybrid models, but the size of that market is not worth it to invest in F1 so much as it needs. I am probaly wrong, but from today I see no use for F1 for any new manufacturer. ICE and hybrid are technological dead ends. Electric is where the investments will go.
      BMW also announced last week that electric is the near future for them, abandoning hybrids.

  5. RBR are geniuses at F1 politics. They ALWAYS come out ahead.

    I dislike them, but you have to admire the way they manage to create favorable outcomes for themselves every time.

  6. IMHO it is a huge risk for Torro Rosso. If the 2018 Honda is crap again, it will not be worth it for Honda to design a new engine before the new engin regs come into play. And as explained before, those new regs better be good, because F1 engine technology is rapidly becoming tech and marketing wise irrelevant.

    • There were rumours that Ferrari had looked at TR with the intent of buying it and turning it into their Alfa team. If Honda fail I suspect Ferrari could still get a good deal on buying TR.

        • Would be the 5th year in a row…..

          2015 – Renault
          2016 – Ferrari
          2017 – Renault
          2018 – Honda
          2019 – “Alfa”

  7. I can’t see McLaren had any choice. First year you expect teething troubles and slow progress; check. Second year you hope to end at the top, especially given freer development. Er no. Third year … you don’t expect to go backwards in power and even further backwards in reliability. You can’t get/keep good sponsors. You can’t keep or get top class drivers. You need a new engine. Three years they’ve been waiting for Honda to deliver on their promises and if anything the engine is getting worse not better.
    I’m sure Renault wouldn’t have been their first choice, and it wouldn’t surprise me if they aren’t thinking about developing their own engine in time. But another year of failed promises and public humiliation just wasn’t acceptable.

  8. Honda should have ditched McLaren long ago, dysfunctional team with no clue or direction on what to do, they’re an irrelevant team. Mercedes left McLaren to be its own team, look where they are today. Hamilton left McLaren to be at Mercedes, 2 more WDCs to his name. Leaving McLaren behind is never a bad choice, Honda will do well with Toro Rosso, it would be poetic justice if Honda get on top of their issues and Toro Rosso trounce McLaren as a result of this.

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