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McLaren F1 deal with Renault leads Toro Rosso and Honda to announce partnership

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McLaren F1 deal with Renault leads Toro Rosso and Honda to announce partnership
Sep 15, 2017, 12:32 PM

McLaren will split with Honda and switched to a Renault engine supply for the 2018 season as Toro Rosso announced that it will use Honda engines fr...

McLaren will split with Honda and switched to a Renault engine supply for the 2018 season as Toro Rosso announced that it will use Honda engines from 2018 onwards.

As a result, Carlos Sainz Jr will also join Renault on loan from 2018 as part of Toro Rosso's negotiations in the Renault split.

McLaren will receive full works support with the same level of performance as Red Bull in a long-term deal.

McLaren currently sits ninth, above Sauber, in the constructors' championship with 11 points. In 2016 the team finished sixth with 76 points, a vast improvement over its first Honda-powered season a year earlier when McLaren finished ninth with 27 points.

"There has never been any doubt over Honda’s commitment and energy to the mission of success in Formula 1. They are proven winners and innovators," said McLaren Executive Director Zak Brown.

"For a combination of reasons our partnership has not flourished as any of us would have wished. It is certainly not for the want of effort on the part of either Honda or McLaren, but the time has come to move ahead in different directions.

"As fellow racers, we hope to see the great name of Honda get back to the top – our sport is better for their involvement. I know this view is shared by everyone in the sport.

“Today’s announcement gives us the stability we need to move ahead with our chassis and technical programme for 2018 without any further hesitation.

"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."

"It is unfortunate that we must part ways with McLaren before fulfilling our ambitions, however, we made the decision with a belief that this is the best course of action for each other's future," said President of Honda, Takahiro Hachigo.

"On behalf of Honda, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to fans who have been very supportive of the team as well as the drivers, team members and everyone involved who shared with us in the joys and disappointments since we began preparing for our return to F1 in 2015.

"Honda will continue the fight together with McLaren all the way to the end of the 2017 season, and then continue its F1 racing activities in 2018 and beyond."

The long-awaited split will keep Fernando Alonso at the team for a fourth consecutive year with McLaren, who said earlier this year that he would stay at McLaren-Honda "if [McLaren] are winning before September."

However, on Thursday, Alonso said while his priority is to achieve the 'Triple Crown' of motorsport, he will not miss the Monaco Grand Prix next year as he expects McLaren to be competitive. Zak Brown also said earlier this year that he would prefer Alonso not to miss the Monaco race in 2018.

"The triple crown is clear target for me in the future and there are a few races there [to complete],” said Alonso.

"One of those is the Indy 500 and together with Monaco as we know. There is another one there to complete. The triple crown is ongoing.

"But yeah I agree with what Zak said – if I remain in F1 it is because I believe I can win next year so that will ease the decision a lot, because I will be in Monaco – I don’t want to lose any points there."

Toro Rosso joins Honda in long-term deal

Toro Rosso will switch to Honda F1 engines from next year in a multi-year deal as a result of McLaren's switch to Renault, with Sainz moving from Toro Rosso on loan to drive for Renault in 2018. This announcement came as McLaren-Honda announced the end of its engine partnership on Friday.

"Everyone in our team is very much looking forward to working with Honda," said Toro Rosso Team Principal Franz Tost.

"Ever since its founder Soichiro Honda entered his motorcycles in events, racing has always been a central part of the company's ethos.

"It's a very exciting challenge and I hope that both parties will gain a great deal from it as we develop together.

"Honda has a long history in Formula 1, dating back to 1964 when it first entered the sport with its own team and, as an engine supplier it has taken five Drivers' World Championship titles and six Constructors'.

"This heritage, together with the full confidence that we have in Honda's capabilities to succeed, make me strongly believe that we will achieve a fruitful future together."

"Toro Rosso is an experienced team with a youthful energy and history of nurturing the stars of the future Everyone at Honda is looking forward to working with Toro Rosso, and we are excited to start this new chapter in our Formula 1 journey with them," added Honda President Hachigo.

"I would like to express our appreciation to Liberty Media and the FIA for their cooperation toward the realization of this partnership.

"Honda and Toro Rosso will work as one team to strive for progress and a successful future together. We appreciate the support of our fans as we begin this challenge."

Palmer's two-year stint at Renault looks to be coming to an end with the Briton having scored one point for the team from 2016-17 with seven races remaining this season.

"I know what’s happening. I think there’ll be an announcement at some point soon about what’s happening for me.

"I’m excited about the future. I haven’t thought too much but I’m excited about what’s to come," said Palmer on Thursday.

Is Toro Rosso's switch to Honda engines a good idea and McLaren thrive after its switch to Renault? Has Carlos Sainz Jr made the right move? Have your say in the comment section below.
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