One of the most successful partnerships in the history of Formula 1 has to be the combination of a Honda engine in a McLaren chassis and body, with Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost behind the wheel. It was the perfect partnership which saw the team win many races and championships.
Over the last 16-years, McLaren has found much success by giving their driver’s Mercedes-Benz power. However, for the last two-years, Mercedes-Benz has been running its own F1 team and rumors started circulating that this will lead to an end to their relationship with McLaren, especially since Mercedes-Benz sold all its shares in McLaren back to the parent company.
With McLaren’s contract coming to an end in 2015 with Mercedes-Benz, much speculation has been circulating on the web and in the paddock as to who will supply engines to the Woking-based team in the future.
This has lead many to speculate that the McLaren-Honda relationship will once again be born, especially since turbo-charged engines are making their way back in Formula 1, and Honda was dominant in the last turbo-era in this sport.
However, McLaren’s managing director Jonathan Neale denies that there has been any contact with Honda. He stresses that McLaren is very well married to Mercedes-Benz for their engines and he sees this partnership continuing into the future.
As for rumors suggesting that Mercedes-Benz might not be giving McLaren its latest motors to give itself an advantage on the track, Neale says he doesn’t think “that’s a concern. ” He goes on to say, “Of course, Mercedes have their own GP team and it’s right and proper that a degree of focus is going to go in that direction, but I was just talking this morning with Thomas Fuhr at Mercedes-Benz – we speak frequently – and we want the same things. It’s in our interest to have consistent engines together because that’s how we get the highest quality.”
The last race of the 2011 F1 season takes place this weekend in Brazil at the Interlagos circuit.