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Honda or Mercedes: which engine will McLaren drive in 2014?

Honda or Mercedes
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E s is the most exciting question on the engine market. Who drives which engines in 2014? And what does McLaren do? Mercedes already knows two customers for its new V6 turbo with hybrid drive: the works team and Force India. But the brand with the star would like to supply a third team.

At the top of the list is McLaren. But there is still no clear commitment from there. It is a poorly kept secret that McLaren is talking to Honda. The only question is: when are the Japanese coming? Next year or not until 2015?

Honda interested in new engine formula

The rumor mill has been simmering for two and a half years. As early as 2010 in Suzuka, high-ranking Honda employees said behind closed doors that they were working on an engine project for the new turbo era. All you need is the green light from the board. Since leaving at the end of 2008, he has not shown himself to be very motorsport friendly.

But times are changing. Honda has understood that sporting success is the best way to cultivate the brand's image. Motorsport has a long tradition in this company. For company founder Soichiro Honda, competition on the racetrack has always been the driving force behind vehicle and motorcycle development and motivation for young engineers. He was not unlike Enzo Ferrari.

Honda V6 Turbo already finished

The new engine formula is attractive for Honda. It offers downsizing, turbo engines, direct injection and hybrid drive - exactly what was missing in Formula 1 in 2008 and given as the reason for the exit. Modern technology.

The paddock radio reports that Honda has finished developing its V6 turbo and that Honda technicians are already stationed at the McLaren factory in Woking to ensure that the engine is optimally installed in the chassis. However, it is apparently still not clear when this engine will celebrate its racing premiere. An official board decision is still pending.

McLaren and Mercedes are running out of time

McLaren and Mercedes are slowly running out of time. If you want to start with a competitive package next year, you have to slowly know what your future engine will look like. The architecture of the V6 turbo with its two electric motors differs significantly from the current eight-cylinder. And there will also be differences from manufacturer to manufacturer.

Mercedes, for its part, must knowWhich customers you can count on. The development costs have to be recovered. Allegedly, a decision will be made in the next few days whether the marriage between McLaren and Mercedes will be in its 20th year since 1995. If McLaren expresses the wish to buy engines from Mercedes, Mercedes is obliged to give engines to its former partner. This is part of the termination agreement from 2009.

Fear of technology transfer to Honda

This is followed by the next question: If McLaren signs a new contract with Mercedes, for how long ? You hear that McLaren only wants a one-year deal. To be free for Honda in 2015. That gets Mercedes in trouble. Everything McLaren sees at Mercedes in 2014 could be of help to Honda.

In the worst-case scenario, the engine manufacturer in Brixworth would have to consider methods that ensure that McLaren can extract as little information as possible. Should McLaren say goodbye immediately, Mercedes will have to look for a new partner. And that won't be easy in the short amount of time. The teams that are still looking for engines for 2014 are not exactly a bed of roses.


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