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.