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McLaren-Mercedes talks ‘not promising’ – Horner

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Christian Horner sees parallels between McLaren’s current situation and the predicament faced by Red Bull two years ago.

In 2015, amid Red Bull’s falling out with Renault, the energy drink owned team struggled to find a replacement engine as none of the alternatives were keen to work with the former champions.

Now, a similar situation is facing McLaren, who have lost patience with Honda after three hapless years.

There are rumours of talks with Mercedes, Renault and even Ferrari about a customer deal, but team executive Zak Brown has been quoted as hinting none are keen on strengthening the famous outfit.

“We’ve been there before, from our side of the fence,” Red Bull chief Horner said.

“Speaking to Zak the other day he said he thought he was watching the same movie that we lived through a couple of years ago, so it didn’t sound particularly promising that there was going to be a Mercedes in the back of a McLaren next year.”

The outcome of the McLaren situation will have a direct impact on Fernando Alonso’s future, as the Spaniard pushes to know what engine the team will have in 2018.

Some have even said Alonso is effectively running the team due to his influence, but team boss Eric Boullier told La Derniere Heure: “I can assure you, he is not the one in the office on Monday morning paying the bills.”

Meanwhile, amid rumours the Sauber-Honda deal has fallen through, Blick correspondent Rogert Benoit claims Renault has emerged as the most likely alternative engine supplier for the Swiss team next year.

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