The British team made progress in 2016, but the now more than two year relationship with Honda following the Japanese carmaker’s return to F1 has been otherwise troubled.
So it is with interest that some commentators digested this week’s news that McLaren’s road car making arm is teaming up with BMW on an engine project.
“This is an exciting project that plays to the strengths of all partners,” said McLaren Automotive chief Mike Flewitt.
But already, some are wondering if the new McLaren-BMW partnership could eventually lead to a foray in formula one.
Manuel Franco, the correspondent for the Spanish sports daily AS, said he has heard rumours that BMW is in fact working on a “V6 turbo”, which is the configuration of today’s F1 power units.
“It is also inevitable to recall that there was recently talk of BMW’s return to F1, and that there may be a secret hybrid V6 turbo project ready to launch,” Franco said.
BMW pulled out of F1 after 2009, following a works foray with Sauber.