McLaren ‘considering’ options, including Mercedes

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Such is the concern over the Honda engine that McLaren
have reported made “informal and brief” contact with Mercedes
regarding an engine deal.

McLaren bid farewell to Mercedes power at the end of 2014, a
year in which they finished fifth in the championship with two
podium results.

Swapping to Honda engines in an exclusive deal, McLaren fell to
ninth in 2015 before improving to sixth last season.

And although this year the team had hoped to take another step
forward, they instead spent most of their pre-season stuck in
the garage due to problems with their Honda power unit.

This has led to criticism from several McLaren personal with
Racing Director Eric Boullier even stating that they “would”
win races in 2017 if they were using Mercedes power.

And McLaren have reportedly spoken to Mercedes about renewing
their relationship.

According to the BBC, ‘McLaren’s contact with Mercedes was
characterised by sources as informal and brief and has not led
to any resolution on either side. But the Mercedes board and
motorsport boss Toto Wolff are said to be open-minded about the
possibility of supplying their former partner.’

Meanwhile Motorsport.com reports that ‘meetings have taken
place since Barcelona testing to try to push Honda to take
action needed to lift its engine programme, McLaren has not
dismissed the idea of looking elsewhere.

‘One avenue is the customer Mercedes engine supply that had
originally been earmarked for the Manor team, and perhaps could
be ready as early as later this season if Honda shows no signs
of improving.’

McLaren, though, have refused to comment on the reports other
than to say that they are “considering options” together with
Honda.

“Winter testing was challenging and disappointing,” a McLaren
spokesperson told Sky Sports.

“We are working with Honda to address shortcomings and
deficiencies. Together with Honda we are considering options,
but we will not comment on media speculation.”

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