Formula 1: Has McLaren finally decided to split from Honda? – Mercedes chief Toto Wolff admitted of taking a meeting with McLaren owner Mansour Ojjeh and boss Zak Brown.
McLaren’s Spanish driver Fernando Alonso drives during the third practice session at the Circuit de Catalunya on May 13, 2017 in Montmelo on the outskirts of Barcelona ahead of the Spanish Formula One Grand Prix. (AFP – Lluis Gene)
If reports are to be believed, McLaren and Honda are now on the verge of a split.
As per Sport24, Germany’s Auto Bild has made this sensational claim about the Anglo-Japanese team as their nightmare continued in Spain with a first-lap practice failure for Fernando Alonso.
The Spaniard suffered an engine failure on his first lap in practice at the Spanish Grand Prix, the latest in a series of problems for Honda in 2017.
It is reported that McLaren owner Mansour Ojjeh and boss Zak Brown met with Mercedes chief Toto Wolff after that disastrous session in the Mercedes motor home, where they discussed a Mercedes engine deal for 2018.
“Yes, we met,” Wolff confirmed, but did not divulge the details of the meeting.
However, as per Auto Bild, a plan is being devised to save face for struggling Honda, who will reportedly announce a grand plan to work exclusively with Sauber in 2018 and beyond.
The report also added that McLaren could, however, face a legal trouble following the split with Honda.
There are widespread rumours that Mercedes are to assist Honda with their engine technology in an attempt to help the Japanese company catch up.
“We are not doing anything for Honda. That is the current status quo,” Wolff said.
“So unless that situation changes, I don’t want to contribute to rumours out there that I think are damaging for Honda. We’ll see what happens,” he added.