The image of a white and red McLaren, usually with a yellow-green helmet signaling that the man sitting in the cockpit was none other than Ayrton Senna, is one that remains etched in F1 fans’ minds many years after his demise in 1994. Powering the McLaren of the late three-time world champion was a Honda engine.
Last weekend, German magazine Auto Motor und Sport reported that McLaren was in talks with Honda to rekindle their 1988-1992 collaboration, which yielded four constructor championships, from 2014 onwards, when the rules mandate the change to 1.6-liter turbocharged engines.
However, McLaren managing director Jonathan Neale denied that there was any truth in those rumors: “That’s all wide off the mark”, he told ESPNF1. “We are wedded to, very happy with and enjoying our partnership with Mercedes-Benz. We’ve had a long standing relationship with them, with many wins and championships and long may that continue.”
Perhaps it was the fact that for the past two years, Mercedes has its own F1 team that fuelled the rumors: “I don’t think that’s a concern”, replied Neale. “Of course, Mercedes have their own GP team, but I was talking this morning with Thomas Fuhr at Mercedes-Benz and we want the same things. It’s in our interest to have consistent engines together because that’s how we get the highest quality.”