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2018 F1

Now Toro Rosso linked with Honda EU switch

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The uncertainty about Honda’s future in F1 has taken another twist.

Already, it was not clear whether McLaren and Honda would stay together for 2018, or even if the customer engine deal with Sauber will proceed.

And now, Auto Motor und Sport reports that Honda could link up with Toro Rosso next year.

“Red Bull’s B team has grown up and could go its own way with Honda,” said correspondent Michael Schmidt. “A decision is due in the summer.”

McLaren executive Zak Brown said: “What’s going on with other teams doesn’t concern us.”

Indeed, everywhere in the Silverstone paddock, another Honda-related rumour lurks. For instance, top McLaren officials have now been spotted in talks with Renault.

And it is believed the same McLaren chiefs have now assured Fernando Alonso over dinner that if he commits for 2018, there will be a top engine in the car.

“We had a nice dinner and Fernando even picked up the bill,” said Brown.

“He feels comfortable with us and we understand each other well. He made it very clear that he wants to be in formula one next year.”

When asked about claims he will stay at McLaren, Alonso said “no comment”.

But the implication is clear: McLaren may very well split with Honda to keep him.

“On a personal level,” said Brown, “the relationship with Honda is good. But I think everyone understands that we need a much better engine, and that’s why all this is going on.”

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