After months of speculation, following Honda’s woeful return to Formula 1 as a power unit supplier, Renault Sport Racing and McLaren Racing have announced an engine supply partnership for the 2018, 2019 and 2020 seasons. The deal will see Renault Sport Racing supply the British manufacturer with Formula 1 power units, while also establishing a close working relationship between engineers and technicians from both teams.
Despite a combined Formula 1 presence that stretches back to 1977 (McLaren Racing has contested 814 GPs; Renault 591 in its role as an engine manufacturer), this will mark the first time that the two brands have ever collaborated.
“This is a strategic decision for Renault Sport Racing,” commented Jérôme Stoll, president of Renault Sport Racing. “It is the first time that Renault will work with McLaren and we are proud to have reached an agreement with an organisation that has such a rich Formula 1 history. This alliance is not only technical and sporting, but also comes with marketing and communication benefits. We know that McLaren will push us hard on track and this competition will be to the benefit of all.”
“Renault is a manufacturer that, like McLaren, has Formula 1 deeply woven into its DNA,” added Shaikh Mohammed bin Essa Al Khalifa, executive chairman and executive committee principal McLaren Group. “It introduced the concept of turbo-charging to modern F1 back in 1977, has won Grands Prix with and without turbo power, and has been a consistent pioneer and developer of new technologies in Formula 1. And while a Renault-powered McLaren is a new and exciting concept in Formula 1, what’s most important is that this partnership gives us the equal opportunity to compete alongside the other Renault-powered teams.”
“Today’s announcement gives us the stability we need to move ahead with our chassis and technical programme for 2018 without any further hesitation,” concluded Zak Brown, McLaren Technology Group executive director. “As an organisation, McLaren has always worked extremely hard to form lasting partnerships with its technical suppliers. We’re convinced that we can bring real value to Renault Sport Racing as we work alongside it to develop this current power unit into a regular race winner.”