Rumour - McLaren to buy BMW's F1 engine division

The hottest rumour at the Suzuka circuit on Saturday is that McLaren is contemplating splitting completely with Mercedes at the end of the season. Germany's Auto Motor und Sport reports that the Woking based team's plan, masterminded by chairman...

The hottest rumour at the Suzuka circuit on Saturday is that McLaren is contemplating splitting completely with Mercedes at the end of the season.

Germany's Auto Motor und Sport reports that the Woking based team's plan, masterminded by chairman and former team boss Ron Dennis, is to buy BMW's Formula One engine division from the withdrawing German carmaker in order to go it alone as an independent chassis and engine constructor.

The move would clear the path for Mercedes to completely concentrate on its intensifying partnership with Brawn, with Dennis thought not keen on the prospect of taking a back seat to Mercedes' new favourite.

McLaren has an engine supply contract with equity partner Mercedes for two more seasons, but Dennis is believed to be confident that - as with his new MP4-12C road car project - the outfit can manage without the Stuttgart based manufacturer.

Auto Motor und Sport said BMW would be interested in selling its F1 engine programme for the right price, and that Dennis may already have made enquiries with the marque's Munich headquarters.

It is also rumoured that McLaren's existing Bahraini investors might bolster their involvement in order to support the new independent engine programme.

Said team boss Martin Whitmarsh: "We have no plans to buy BMW's engines."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Martin Whitmarsh
Teams Mercedes , McLaren