Formula 1

Mercedes director sad to lose McLaren engine contract

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Mercedes director Toto Wolff has described McLaren's decision to switch to Honda power from 2015 as "not ideal."

McLaren will lose Mercedes as a partner from the end of 2013 but will use their engines as a customer in 2014, after next year however McLaren announced last week they would be rekindling the famous partnership with Japanese carmaker Honda from 2015.

The return of Honda will end a seven year absence from the sport after the selling the team to then Team Principal Ross Brawn and pulling out of F1 in 2008; ironically that team is now Mercedes.

The decision to end the partnership between McLaren and Mercedes came after the German automaker joined the F1 grid as a works team in 2010, the contract between the two parties expires at the end of this year.

While focussing on its own Brackley team, Mercedes is also an engine supplier to Force India but Director Toto Wolff said losing such a high level partner was disappointing.

"It is of course not ideal when you lose a customer, especially when it's someone like McLaren, who have been with Mercedes for so long and celebrated great successes with us," he told Speed Week.

"So of course it's unpleasant, but it's a decision they've taken. We also look forward to having another competitor in F1 -- Honda is a top brand and, as the saying goes, competition is good for business," the Austrian added.

Finally Wolff shrugged off suggestions Force India could also change to Honda along with McLaren.

"No, because everyone only has a limited ability to supply customer teams.

"For us, it's somewhere between three and four teams, and we're confident that in the coming years we will have at least three (Mercedes-powered) teams in formula one," he said.

Other changes could occur in the coming months as some mid-field teams say they will have to change some engine suppliers are putting inflated prices on their 2014 units and many are cannot afford them.

Renault in particular are said to be asking the most with a single engine costing between €20-€23m. Currently the French carmaker is providing engines to four teams: Red Bull, Lotus, Williams and Caterham. 

At this time only Red Bull are confirmed with Renault with their sister team Toro Rosso also said to be interested.

Other carmakers had been mentioned as possible returnees to F1 however BMW and Toyota have both denied speculation they are considering a comeback. 

Ferrari are also said to be looking for new customers, with Toro Rosso looking elsewhere speculation is linking Marussia with a potential switch from Cosworth to the Italian grandee team, although no confirmation of any deals yet.


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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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