McLaren will return to using Mercedes power units in 2021 following the conclusion of its deal with Renault, signing an initial four-year deal.
Mercedes supplied McLaren until 2014, including the first year of the current hybrid power unit regulations. After finishing fifth in the constructors’ championship, McLaren switched to Honda but the move was beset by problems that led to a deterioration of the relationship, and culminated in the early termination of that deal. Despite explored the option of a return to Mercedes at the time, McLaren instead partnered with Renault on a three-year deal, but will now be supplied by Mercedes again when that contract expires at the end of next year.
“This agreement is an important step in our long-term plan to return to success in Formula 1,” McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown said. “Mercedes is the benchmark, both as a team and a power unit, so it is natural we would seek to secure a relationship with the company for the next phase of our journey. This announcement reflects the confidence of our shareholders and is an important message to our investors, our team, partners and fans that we are committed to returning McLaren to the front of the field.”
McLaren won the 1998 constructors’ championship in partnership with Mercedes as well as three drivers’ titles between 1995 and 2014, and the new deal will coincide with new regulations in Formula 1. Team principal Andreas Seidl says confirming its power unit partner in advance of those changes is crucial if McLaren is to compete for podiums and wins once again.
“2021 will be an important milestone for us as we continue our fight back to the front, so it is vital that we have the key elements in place now to enable us to prepare for the new era of the sport,” Seidl said. “We look forward to renewing our Mercedes relationship from 2021 onwards. At the same time Renault remains both a valued partner as well as a formidable competitor, and we will be focused on continuing our collaboration through the rest of this season and next.”
Mercedes has already confirmed a deal with Williams until 2025, and is expected to continue its partnership with Racing Point, leaving Renault without any customers from 2021.