According to a report in British newspaper The Daily Mail the McLaren Formula 1 team will retain it’s engine partnership with Mercedes-Benz ‘for years to come’. The team principal of the second most successful team in F1 history stated so in an interview ahead of the recently concluded Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
The partnership that had started in 1995 (first victory in 1997 Australian GP, see vid below) was the subject of much speculation after a report in German automotive magazine Auto Motor und Sport suggested that Honda was keen on an F1 return in 2014. It was rumored that the Japanese engine manufacturer was keen to tie up with McLaren after the British team after it became a customer team following Mercedes’ purchase of the Brawn GP team in 2009.
Mercedes had tried, in vain, to acquire a majority ownership of McLaren for a large part of its partnership with the team, especially after rivals BMW did the same with Sauber F1 before leaving the sport at the end of 2009.
The McLaren-Mercedes partnership has won the team three drivers’ titles (1998, 1999, 2008) and one constructors’ title (1998). Both parties were recently involved in a high-profile shake-up of the drivers’ market as Lewis Hamilton left McLaren to replace the retiring Michael Schumacher at Mercedes.