Confirmed: McLaren-Renault and Honda-Toro Rosso
McLaren are so desperate to return to winning ways, they have officially switched to Renault engine for the next 3 years. While, Honda has luckily managed to stay in Formula 1 by switching to supplying Toro Rosso next season.
McLaren has had a bitter relationship with Honda recently, with Honda being unable to deliver a competitive engine. To make things worse, the Honda engine became worse from 2016 to 2017, with increased unreliability and loss of horsepower.
Renault has also officially announced it won’t be supplying to Red Bull 2018 onwards. By how things are looking and Red Bull’s disaffection with Renault, there is high probability that Red Bull will be using a Honda engine for 2019 and 2020, before the regulations change again. But for Red Bull things are better than they were for McLaren. With Honda supplying Toro Rosso, Red Bull can closely monitor Honda’s progress and help them reduce the power deficit to the other three engine supplies.
For McLaren things are different. Although, McLaren-Renault is instantly a lot better than McLaren-Honda, it’s still unknown whether Renault can cut the power deficit to Mercedes and Ferrari. Another issue for Renault is its reliability, particularly for Max Verstappen. Looking at this year’s Singaporean Grand Prix, it is fair to say that the McLaren chassis is one of the best, a positive for McLaren as they hope to turn their fortunes for the upcoming season. In terms of chassis, it’s going to be an interesting battle between Red Bull and McLaren considering they will be powered by the same engine next year.
McLaren has been very conservative, and have publicly stated that it will take time for the team even with Renault to return to winning ways. On the other hand, the Japanese engine supplier, Honda, has built aspirations of being a front-three runner with Toro Rosso next season. An ironic aspiration after their disastrous three years with McLaren.