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Wolff not commenting on McLaren-Mercedes engine deal

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Toto Wolff has counted himself out of speculation regarding the dubious future of the McLaren-Honda collaboration.

Rumours were rife throughout the Montreal weekend, with many now expecting McLaren to dump Honda and simply buy a customer engine for 2018, perhaps from Mercedes.

“At the moment I do not want to participate in these rumours and discussions,” Wolff, the Mercedes chief, told Bild newspaper.

“It could be detrimental to Honda,” he added.

But the rumours persist that McLaren could actually dump Honda imminently — perhaps in the next few months.

“You could install a new power unit in any F1 car in a minimum of three months,” an unnamed F1 engine source said.

What is at least clear for now is that frustrations are reaching boiling point.

After his latest engine failure, Fernando Alonso said after the Canadian grand prix: “The speed difference on the straights with the other cars is dangerous here.

“The others pass as though you’re standing on a motorway.”

And his misery will now continue in two weeks in Baku.

“It’s not just that we lost a point here,” he said. “We lost another engine, which means I will be last in Azerbaijan.”

Worst still, the Honda upgrade that McLaren was expecting in Canada may not even be ready by Baku.

So another rumour is that even the board of the Honda Motor Company is running out of patience for the hapless F1 project.

“Obviously they (the board) are not happy right now, but they are committed to the long term project,” boss Yusuke Hasegawa said.

When asked if it is him who may have to fall on his sword, the Japanese answered: “We are trying to improve, and maybe there is someone who can do better than me.

“For the moment I am doing the best I can.”

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