British Formula 1 outfit McLaren Racing decided to cut ties with Renault after next season and join forces yet again with former partner Mercedes for 2021 and beyond.
According to team CEO Zak Brown, Mercedes‘ continued excellence during this V6 turbo hybrid era was the deciding factor in the deal, despite Ferrari showing tremendous progress this year and currently featuring the strongest power unit on the grid.
When asked by Autosport if his team considered a Ferrari engine supply deal, Brown stated that “in Formula 1 you have to look at a longer period of time other than a handful of races.”
“Obviously the Ferrari engine seems extremely strong at the moment but if you look at the commitment of Mercedes-Benz, where they have been, and as a racing team, it is a great yardstick.”
He then added: “We’ve not considered Ferrari. I also think it’s a clear brand clash with our McLaren road car business.”
As for building their own engine, it would appear that was never really an option for the team, given how expensive it would have been.
“It was never a topic really,” said team principal Andreas Seidl. “To put up a Formula 1 power unit nowadays you have to invest a lot of money. You need a lot of running budget each year and you would need a long time to catch up with what the others have put in place.”
“That was never a topic. We’re very happy with the agreement we have now with Mercedes.”
Once they’ll be on the same playing field as the front runners in terms of power units, McLaren expects they’ll be able to begin mounting a title challenge – albeit not as soon as 2021.