McLaren and Mercedes had worked together successfully in Formula 1 prior to McLaren’s ill-fated decision to switch to Honda in 2015. Currently, it buys its engines from Renault and reaching a new deal with the reigning world champions will undoubtedly help it in its quest to return to the top of the sport.
“This agreement is an important step in our long-term plan to return to success in Formula 1. 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,” McLaren chief executive Zak Brown said. “This announcement reflects the confidence of our shareholders and is an important message to our investors, employees, partners and fans that we are committed to returning McLaren to the front of the field.”
Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport, Toto Wolff, commented that the German racing outfit hopes to see a revived McLaren team taking the fight to the sport’s top teams.
“We are delighted to welcome McLaren back to the Mercedes-Benz racing family with this new power unit supply agreement. Although the two brands share a prestigious history, this new agreement is all about looking to the future and beginning a new era of power unit supply for the years ahead,” Wolff said.
“McLaren have been putting in place the building blocks of their revival over recent seasons, including impressive performances this season with Renault power. 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.”
McLaren parted ways with Mercedes-Benz for the 2015 season in the belief that it could not challenge the German company’s works team as an engine customer. Speaking with the media, however, at the recent Russian Grand Prix, Brown said he is confident that Mercedes supplies its current customer teams (Williams and Racing Point) with the same-spec powertrains it uses in its own team.