L&T Motorsport

Mclaren would consider building own engine from 2021

Despite the on going saga around McLaren’s engine supply for 2018 the team have announced they would be open to making their own engines from 2021.

The former World Champions, currently powered by Honda, hope to move to Renault for next season due to major reliability issues with the Japanese power units. But despite this being the burning issue the team is looking to the future as well.

The team’s executive director Zak Brown, speaking at the recent Italian GP, said that the change in engine regulations that could come to effect in 2021 might be of interest to the Woking side.

“We’re interested to see what the new engine formula is in 2021 – and whether we consider doing our own engine, or whether other people would come in under new rules,” said Brown.

“So right now we’ve got to focus on the next three years and, as soon as we get that figured out, then yeah, of course we’ve got to look.

“I think the landscape in Formula 1 is going to change in a very positive way from ’21 onwards, with budget caps, revenue redistribution, and new engine rules.

“So it’s a little hard to take any decisions on ’21 with so many things that will change.”

Brown also stated that the team would need to know in advance what the new rules would be so if it was tempted to go down this route it could prepare with the correct timeframes.

With McLaren now in the road car business with its range of sports cars it would make sense for the team to look at this option to go hand in hand with its road cars. However Brown was also keen to state that it would depend on cost.

“We’d consider doing it. We just need to have an understanding of the platform, what are the rules, and what is it going to cost?

“We certainly wouldn’t be in a position to spend the hundreds of millions that it takes now to develop engines, so they’re going to have to change the engine formula for it to be something that economically would be viable for us.”

Another option that could be looked at for the team, and F1 as a whole, could be the sport to tempt back independent engine suppliers. The last such supplier in the sport was Cosworth and with Porsche admitting to keeping an eye on the possible new regulations for 2021 it might be the right time for others to considering the option of joining Formula One on a more appropriate budget and still be competitive. It would also provide further and more healthy competition within the sport as well and make for more variety on the grid.

Andrew Campbell
Photo Credit: The NewsWheel

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