In a shock move, McLaren are now considering partnering with Red Bull on an engine deal

23 February, 2023

Formula One side McLaren are said to be considering the idea of forming an alliance with rivals Red Bull over an engine deal. The British F1 team may end up using Red Bull power units from the 2026 season as regulations are set to change.

McLaren currently use Mercedes power units in Formula One but that partnership may soon come to an end. Racing News 365 had reported previously and it has also been confirmed by The Independent that McLaren CEO Zak Brown had visited the Red Bull Powertrains facility in Milton Keynes, England earlier in February with initial talks over a supply being held.

Red Bull currently rely on auto manufacturer Honda for their power unit but after the Japanese company decided to withdraw, they ended up forming Red Bull Powertrains (RBPT) in 2021. Despite deciding to withdraw, Honda has agreed to supply power units to the reigning world champions until the end of 2025.

Red Bull Powertrains is set to take full responsibility for engine supply and operations from 2026. Red Bull also shocked the world after announcing a partnership with Ford, who announced their comeback to F1 to as technical partner for the project. The company will then be renamed as ‘Red Bull Ford Powertrains.’

As a result, Honda currently have no other clients to supply engines to from 2026 onwards. It is also believed that McLaren’s Zak Brown has also held talks with the Japanese manufacturer about the possibility of reuniting nine years after they had parted ways.

McLaren’s current supply of Mercedes power units is set to run until the end of the 2025 season – the final one under this current generation of power unit rules.

During the launch of the MCL60 machine at the team’s headquarters earlier this month, Brown was enquired about the future plans for McLaren  and whether he wanted the team to maintain ‘customer’ status or become a ‘works’ operation once again. Explore more information about F1 in Nextbet

“We’re happy with Mercedes, we have some time to decide what we want to do in 2026 and beyond,” he explained to media, including RacingNews365.

“It is something Andrea and I are in the process of slowly reviewing; we’re not in a big rush, so we’ll see how things pan out in the next year or so before we make a decision.”