2018 F1

McLaren appear edging near an engine deal with Renault

McLaren Executive Director Zak Brown says that the team is facing one of the biggest decisions in its history as they consider replacing Honda engines with Renault.

Sky Sports reported that Renault chiefs Jerome Stoll, Cyril Abiteboul and Alain Prost held meetings in the McLaren motorhome after Friday practice. They were joined by F1 sporting director Ross Brawn.

But Brown says that the team insist a decision on their 2018 power supply hasn’t been made yet.

“It is very complicated,” Brown speaking to Sky Sports News about McLaren-Renault deal. “There are a variety of pieces to the puzzle, some in our control, some not.

“It can still go either way. It’s probably one of the biggest decisions McLaren have ever had to make.

“Negotiations are ongoing and they are going very well,” he added. “But you have to have a Plan B and a Plan C in the event you don’t reach an agreement. And we have those plans.”

“We can’t afford not to be on the podium,” he said. “We are here to win so we are going to make a sporting decision.

“The best thing for McLaren is to make the best sporting decision possible,” he continued.

“Fortunately, we have extremely committed shareholders which means we can make a sporting decision and deal with the economics.”

But the McLaren boss was tight-lipped on his ongoing discussions with Honda. “I am not going to comment on any meetings with Honda,” he said.

Alonso back-up plans

McLaren remains in talks with Fernando Alonso about a deal for 2018, with the team’s likely competitiveness at the centre of the Spaniard’s decision.

“Fernando’s not given us any ultimatum, them or us, all he wants is a competitive car,” Brown said.

“I’ll be spending more time with him this weekend, and his decision is going to be based on whether he thinks we’re going to be competitive or not. He’s not been engine specific in his desires.

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