Recent all reports over the weekend suggested that the meat of the entire complex saga is now on the bones, with McLaren to team up with Renault after splitting with Honda – and it will be happened likely to come before this weekend’s Singapore GP – after three years of underperformance and unreliability.
Many trusted sources reported that McLaren has signed a three-year deal with Renault, an agreement that will take Formula 1’s second most successful team to the end of 2020, just before the sport ushers in a new set of regulations.
Satisfied with the Renault engine deal, Fernando Alonso looks set to stay at McLaren, but it is rumored the British team “has proposed a salary reduction” for the 36-year-old due to the lost millions in Honda backing.
Sportsmail reported that, the terms of Alonso’s new contract are believed to be similar to his existing package, just north of £20million annually.
Carlos Sainz is also part of the whole saga, reportedly as a ‘sweetener’ as Toro Rosso moves from Renault to Honda power. The 23-year-old Spaniard is joining Nico Hulkenberg at the works Renault team.
McLaren mechanic and Sky F1 pundit Marc Priestley said to Sky F1 – “You have to see it as a short-term fix,”
“The culture of McLaren and the working culture of Honda just don’t fit. They’ve had three years of trying, the relationship has broken down.
“But there’s going to come a point where Honda are going to turn the corner. What if that happens next year? Then McLaren are left with a customer engine from Renault, there’s already a Renault works team and there’s already Red Bull.
“Where does that leave McLaren? Is it a short-term fix because they have something else in their minds? There was talk of Porsche coming into Formula 1 – are they looking two or three years down the line? Do they make their own engine?
“This can’t be a long-term solution for a team like McLaren. But it will, hopefully, catapult them up the grid to at least be challenging for podiums, which is a big step up from where they are now.”
Bernie Ecclestone, F1’s chairman emeritus, said: ‘The Renault deal is all done. Alonso staying is super news. But I can’t see why McLaren will be any happier with Renault than they are with Honda. It wasn’t Honda’s fault things didn’t work out, it was McLaren’s. Every day they had a fight about everything, instead of working with them, which was a little bit stupid.’
Sky Sports reported that, F1 journalist Chris Medland argues that the complex situation ends with four parties – McLaren, Honda, Renault and Red Bull.
“Red Bull have a potentially different future but they’re still with Renault if the Honda future isn’t good. Renault have the chance to supply another team that can produce a really good chassis,” he explained.
“Honda get a fresh start at Toro Rosso and the opportunity to maybe prove McLaren wrong. And McLaren get out with a more competitive power unit than they have.”