Mercedes, Circuit de Catalunya, 2017

McLaren suggest Mercedes or Ferrari deal won’t happen: “They don’t want us too close”

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: McLaren CEO Zak Brown doubts McLaren will be able to get their hands on a Mercedes or Ferrari engine supply.

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Comment of the day

Adam is concerned about Sebastian Vettel’s championship chances:

This year it has been less of Ferrari making a step forward and more Mercedes not really understanding the strength of what they had but now they are and while Ferrari are making progress, Mercedes are gaining more. Though this isn’t a case of Ferrari being unable to develop their car during the season because they were already behind, which is making the gains by Mercedes look ever stronger.

Personally the fact Vettel has managed to get anywhere near the Mercedes in qualifying trim and beat them on merit in the race shows more of his skill than anything else. But Ferrari haven’t looked on equal or close footing for a few races now and the performance gulf between them is widening. Perhaps it’s too early to say the championship’s toast but it’s certainly not looking good for the second half of the season. In his position I’d be far more pessimistic than Vettel is.
Adam (@Rocketpanda)

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Keith Collantine
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  • 109 comments on “McLaren suggest Mercedes or Ferrari deal won’t happen: “They don’t want us too close””

    1. Kermitsvoice
      19th July 2017, 0:20

      Quite disappointing when going to this site for a serious F1 read and then being linked through to The Sun :(

      1. The choice is yours, I don’t go there.

      2. Neil (@neilosjames)
        19th July 2017, 1:39

        Try to think of it as being linked to something written by a journalist who attends all (or at least most) of the races and spends a lot of time around the paddock. His employer can often impact on the quality of his work so far as articles are concerned, but his thoughts on the sport, in comment form, are probably worth a look.

        1. Lewisham Milton
          19th July 2017, 10:12

          Yes, more research and thought gone into it than Sky Sports desperately trying to spin a story out of a one-line quote.

        2. Simon (@weeniebeenie)
          19th July 2017, 12:21

          In this case, not really. Check out the press conferences, the Sun journalist always asks ridiculous questions aimed purely at getting a juicy controversial headline.

      3. Fukobayashi (@)
        19th July 2017, 9:41

        Awful speculative article from a trash rag that imho has no place on a quality site such as this. The short article on Sky Sport was a much more accurate analysis of what Lewis actually said over the weekend.

      4. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
        19th July 2017, 11:41

        Red Bull, Williams and McLaren should build an engine between them.

        1. they should get cosworth involved which is already speculated to return to F1 (albeit a bit down the road, 2021!) those teams could team up with cosworth still to upgrade/improve/fix the current engines??? it is not too late for 2018!

    2. Re COTD, sorry Panda but I thought Kimi was pretty competitive at Silverstone, that is until the tyre lottery inexplicably went Mercs way for a change. Ferrari are definitely competitive, let’s see if they can improve, or whether the management will issue one of its edicts along the lines of “The firings will continue until morale improves”.

      1. @hohum I agree with cotd. I reckon Ferrari expects to win in Hungary, anything but a win means cotd is definitely right, we shall see.

      2. I tend to agree with COTD.

        Ferrari seems to have fallen off the pace just a fraction and Mercedes does seem to have improved, particularly from Hamiltons perspective.

        Whether that’s a case of Mercedes engineers finally “understanding” their car’s balance and setup to give their drivers a better tool or that they’ve developed it better, Hamilton doesn’t seem to be struggling as much with his setup like he was earlier.
        Ferrari on the other hand seem to be able to set the car up OK, it’s just not as fast as the Merc, particularly in qualifying mode.

        Unless they find something (and I hope they do), we’ll see a “Hamilton fest” in the second half of the season. Bottas will keep him honest, and may be able to at least make it a competition, but if the Mercedes setup problems that plagued Hamilton (that Bottas could cope with) have been sorted, he’ll more than likely run away with it.

    3. I don’t blame them. Ron Dennis should have seen this coming. He should have stayed with the Mercedes engines.

      1. I don’t think anyone could have seen such a spectacular failure coming. I expected 2015 to be a struggle but nothing quite of the nature we saw. I then thought well they’ll at least iron out the kinks for 2016 but they were still embarrassingly off the pace.

        And then for this year to be even worse, it’s just inconceivable for an organisation like Honda to be this woeful. I didn’t buy into the Ron Dennis spin about them dominating, but I honestly didn’t expect them to even still be behind Renault at this stage let along have this unreliable, thirsty, donkey of a power unit. It’s amateurish.

        1. Agreed what a shame Honda did great with turbo engines in the past. Even their cars are ugly these days. Something seems to be missing at Honda.

          McLaren is screwed and in F1 the competition will stab you in the back every time given the opportunity.

          1. Car aesthetics on anything but executive and performance lines are driven by aero-efficiency, not looks.

            There’s a reason why most electric and hybrid cars are converging on how they look – it’s about reducing air resistance.

        2. Very well said.

          And now that we made clear those (……..) claims saying McLaren could leave Honda are out of the way:

          Don’t forget children; Customers can’t win titles. So send your pounds to Tokyo or sob until 2020.

          1. Ehh Honda is paying McLaren $100m a yr. Not the other way around.

        3. @philipgb I actually did expect this to continue the way it has so far. And I expect 2018 to be no different either. Of course I didn’t expect 2015 to be that bad, but ever since I expected Honda to remain roughly this bad.

          It’s actually quite easy: in MotoGP and IndyCar Honda have huge issues with their engines as well. So it’s regardless of whether it’s a small bike engine, a big powerful V8 or a hybrid engine.

          The point is, everything Honda has done (wrong and what they’ve done to try and fix things) in F1 has also been done in other categories, but somehow the people inside Honda’s engine department are just plain incompetent to design engines and related components for this level of motorsport. And that’s a fact, no matter how you bend it. These are just three of the most highly regarded forms of motorsport, but almost without exception they experience issues with pure power output, reliability, drivability and electronics.

          1. Minor point, I know @addvariety, but where do you see a Honda V8 in the sports you listed? It’s not in the MotoGP bikes, it’s not in the F1 cars (thats the hybred V8) and it’s not in Indycars either (since they have a 2l bi-turbo V6 engine)?

            Not to mention that the IndyCar engine seems to be the most powerfull currently, while at the same time suffering more failures, which is a choise most racers would happily make too.

            1. @bascb You’re right, I meant V6 in this case. I forgot that it was already a couple of years ago since IndyCar switched from V8 to V6. And a minor point in your comment: the current (since 2014) F1 cars use a 1.6l V6 Hybrid engine.

              And your last comment I cannot find myself in, because it depends on the track which engine is best suited. And while I do agree that a powerful engine is always better regardless of failures. No, failures can (and will) happen always, but there’s a limit of what’s acceptable. During the Indy 500 for example, 3 Honda engines of top running cars failed. That’s in any sport an unacceptable failure rate.

            2. If they win too, having half of them drop out is still a good balance IMO.

      2. Fukobayashi (@)
        19th July 2017, 9:43

        I don’t blame them. Ron Dennis should have seen this coming. He should have stayed with the Mercedes engines.

        IIRC it was actually Martin Whitmarsh who pushed through the Honda deal no?

        1. @offdutyrockstar, Whitmarsh’s signature was on the contract because he was the Team Principle, but Ron Dennis, as the CEO of the McLaren Group (and therefore the man to whom Whitmarsh had to report) was heavily involved.

          Some have suggested that the decision came down from the top, with Dennis insisting that the team needed a new manufacturer to replace Mercedes (in part because Ron’s ties to Mercedes became increasingly strained over time) – so although Whitmarsh brokered talks, it was at Ron’s behest.

        2. Martin Whitmarsh was nothing more than a front man. He was right about Perez.

      3. The only problem with Dennis’ philosophy is the rate of development has been slower than I would have expected. For example, I would have expected the inadequate turbine on the MGU-H to not have happened, or been fixed as soon as it became apparent, but it seemed to linger on for two years. The Token System could easily have contributed to that. It was only at the end of last season that Zak Brown took over running the team and about the same time the Token System was abolished, and now the engine sounds much better and the rate of development appears to have accelerated too. I don’t know what the impediment was, but it seems to have been sorted out.
        If Honda had joined F1 for the first time then we wouldn’t have expected them to be fighting for podiums, and that is part of the problem: We keep thinking of McLaren in terms of McLaren-Mercedes or ye Olde McLaren-Honda, and maybe they do as well. We should be thinking of them as a new team because that is really what they are. If they were a new team we would probably expect them to be somewhere behind Haas, which is where they are.

      4. It’s painful to watch. McLaren-Honda: no good. McLaren-Renault: also no good. Just imagine someone said that in the early 90s. Now that Ron’s gone, I’m just waiting for Alonso to leave too and I’ll just block this team’s existence in my mind. Maybe if Porsche or Aston join….

        1. McLaren-TAG?

        2. Not only Mercedes and Ferrari… But may be FIA also may not want Mclaren to break up with Honda and take other engines. This will result in Honda leaving F1 itself. They may want Honda to do well and succeed but not leave F1.

    4. @ the Schuepbach-Tweet: While there obviosuly are sponsor-links (through BWT), I can see Auers test making sense from a performance-point as well. Yes, Verstappen and Ocon where a class ahead in their F3-year 2014, but Auer still placed in front of the likes of Antonio Giovinazzi, Alex Lynn or Felix Rosenqvist (who for some weird reason still gets mentioned in comments here, albeit being 5 years older), and Force India needs someone who hasn’t raced in F1 (due to young-driver-test-rules) and who obviously isn’t testing for one of the big teams and their junior programs. Auer probably won’t get a race seat, but for this test he is a reasonable choice.

    5. Seb’s right. But with a sport that’s trying to reinvent itself, not in the way they race because they are tying to “go back to the roots” if you can say that, but in the way races are promoted, maybe the drivers could make the effort. They don’t test a lot anymore… and the sport would benefit hugely with their presence. As Fernando said during the Indy 500: the guys in America fly to other states midway through the preparation for the race. They understand the value of promoting the race. F1 drivers should do the same.

      I hope one day F1 turns a bit more American, without taking too much of what we already have. Look at NASCAR, they even created a throwback race with old school liveries and all for Darlington. Imagine F1 doing the same!

      1. Racerdude7730
        19th July 2017, 2:38

        I want F1 to be nothing like NASCAR but I do love some of the stuff they do. Imagine if they had a race where teams ran old liverys and the crew dressed in old livery kit. That would be sweet and the drivers could paint their helmets old school…….

        on a different note liberty should let the drivers go back to changing helmet designs. I always liked how seb would turn up with new and amazing helmet designs.

      2. @fer-no65 making an effort might not be so tempting for drivers already spending 300 days a year away from home. Add the short notice, and im amazed some showed up at all.

        1. Racerdude7730
          19th July 2017, 2:43

          Don’t feel bad for the drivers. Compared to when there was testing their schedules are pretty easy now. That’s also why you get paid the big money. If you don’t wanna do the job you don’t have to take it bc someone else will fill your spot with a smile

          1. While I understand that “media duties” are all part of the game, there’s part of me that wishes drivers could be chosen just on driving ability, not a balance between driving ability, marketability and media-friendliness.

        2. Racerdude7730
          19th July 2017, 2:44

          Also lets not forget they are on a 4 week vacation as week speak

          1. No their not, we got hungry a week on Sunday…….then they have a month of.

        3. @me4me that’s their job. They do a lot of media stuff for their teams, so maybe they could switch a couple of those events for a proper F1 Live thing like in London. I doubt this would be a thing all over the world, anyway, so maybe just selected cities over the whole calendar, alternating from one another every year.

          I’m sure it’s more than doable for them. It’s not like they would be altering their trips anyway… they have to be there for the race

          1. @fer-no65, I see your point. It’s not unreasonable to request them to show up. However there are two things that I think are incorrect.

            It is not their job to show up to an FOM event. Their job is defined by the contract with their team. As many team principles have said, they did not force drivers to go. So it’s entirely up to each individual driver to go for the sake of showing goodwill.

            Secondly I do think some drivers had to alter their trips. The event was serveral days before drivers normally arrive to the country hosting the next Grand Prix. FOM released information about the event on very short notice, so I can imagine some drivers had to change their plans. It’s fully understandable (in my opinion) that some drivers disliked cancelling their mini holiday for the sake of an unscheduled late-notice event.

    6. I think Toto made it clear that Mclaren first must extract themselves out of the Honda contract on their own and then he can talk about engine supply (there was an article sometime before). From the looks of it, I don’t think Mclaren have done the first bit themselves (paying up to Honda so that the contract is broken). But Mclaren is happy to blame Mercedes and Ferrari for this.

      1. In McLaren’s defence, no team bar RB would ever risk not having an PU supplier to race with.

        1. The rules were changed so that if that scenario happens a manufacturer must provide a power unit. I don’t know how it would work if McLaren broke contract which would be obligated to provide to them or if they can provide a year old unit or not but they would have to be provided with one and can’t come out any worse than they are right now.

      2. It’s expected that there would have been several performance break clauses which I doubt Honda have even gotten close to meeting.

        1. If there were any performance clauses, why haven’t they been activated? After all, Mclaren don’t have the worry of not getting an engine, the rules ensure that they will get one.

          The only reasons I believe they are still with Honda are 1) There are no performance clauses 2) Mclaren love the 100mn more than front of the grid.

      3. Fukobayashi (@)
        19th July 2017, 9:46

        @sumedh I agree with you, I think this article is nothing but bluster to try and keep McLaren’s stock up and push that repetitive message that the engine is the ONLY thing keeping them from dominating every race. I don’t buy it and I don’t trust Zak Brown much either.

    7. Racerdude7730
      19th July 2017, 2:42

      I think there are a lot of things liberty could do to help bring F1 back. I think before each race weekend on the Thursday they should hold a free event like the London show. You don’t even need the races running just have them on display and have autograph signings from present and past drivers. Maybe do a fan give away where you get a ticket when you visit and at the end of the day you can win say a replica fire suit and helmet of your fav driver or hold race ticket giveaways. Maybe even let kids under 12 into races free to make sure you are securing a new generation of fans.

      1. Kid under 12 do free with a paying adult……….

    8. Racerdude7730
      19th July 2017, 2:46

      Have the cars running*. Keith plz plz make an edit function

    9. I wonder if Honda is playing the long game here.

      McLaren have been proclaiming all along that customer teams can never win titles, hence the alliance with Honda. Well, Honda have been a constructor previously, Honda make cars, and Honda can benefit from showcasing themselves as a competitive constructor.

      I’m sure its not gone unnoticed at Honda that Mercedes took the explicit decision to convert themselves from a PU supplier to a works team at the end of the last decade, for the marketing benefit it offers. Why have your company’s marque tagging along as a hyphenated suffix for a successful team?

      The bad publicity Honda currently face with their poor PU is slightly diminished as it is also McLaren’s name being tarnished, particularly among the casual public.

      I wonder if Honda’s alliance with McLaren is to allow Honda focus on engine development, and once the engine is competitive and reliable, I wonder if Honda will take over a flailing team (e.g. Sauber) and convert that to the Honda works team, or maybe even target a midfielder like Force India for acquisition.

      1. I wonder if Honda will take over a flailing team (e.g. Sauber) and convert that to the Honda works team, or maybe even target a midfielder like Force India for acquisition.

        Maybe Honda’s plan all along was to make McLaren a flailing team and then take it over. If that’s their plan, they’re spot on with all their targets. Within a season or two, Honda would have eradicated all of Mclaren’s legacy, and dropped their valuation to the cost of peanuts.

        1. Sundar Srinivas Harish
          19th July 2017, 13:47

          Within a season or two, Honda would have eradicated all of Mclaren’s legacy, and dropped their valuation to the cost of peanuts.

          That doesn’t make financial sense if what people say about Honda paying McLaren and Alonso are true. They’ve probably overpaid by millions at this point, and for what? A brand which has lost pretty much all of its equity?

          1. They’ve paid $300 mln to drop the valuation by far more.

    10. Awuoro Sundu
      19th July 2017, 6:27

      McLaren: They don’t want us too close, that’s why they won’t give us engines.
      Answer: So build your own engines, you’ve been in F1 for half a century, you’ve got great engineering and management talent, you can’t build an engine??

      1. Fukobayashi (@)
        19th July 2017, 9:47

        +1

        Diversionary tactics at play.

      2. I think you may be slightly overlooking the huge costs to build your own engine! Bear in mind, this is a team that’s actually struggled for a main sponsor for some time.

        1. Duncan Snowden
          19th July 2017, 15:43

          Especially true under the current formula. If Honda, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of engines, can’t do it, what makes anyone think McLaren can?

          If it were possible to adapt their road car engine, I’m sure they’d already be considering it. It’d be good for the McLaren brand to be alongside Ferrari, Mercedes, and Renault as a manufacturer team. But it isn’t.

      3. That would be an extraordinarily bad idea – they would be so behind on development they would take as long as honda if not longer to get some performance

    11. McLaren: They don’t want us too close, that’s why they won’t give us engines.
      Answer: So build your own engines, you’ve been in F1 for half a century, you’ve got amazing engineering and management talent, you can’t build an engine??

      1. It’s too late, too expensive and too complex. Why waste their time and money building a power unit when they can hope for Honda to get it right for 2020 engine rule change.

        The current McLaren road car engine is build by Ricardo and it was based on a NISSAN race car 3.5 twin turbo V8 engine.

      2. That is what i was expecting from an team such as McLaren. They should have the expertise.

    12. F1 needs a non racing engine supplier like Ford or BMW.

      1. And that went so we’ll with Stewart, Jaguar and Sauber….

        1. F1 wins by engine manufacturer:

          1. Ferrari – 228
          2. Ford – 176
          3. Renault – 168
          4. Mercedes – 156

          1. I wanna see that list broken down into win ratio. As of now its a list of most used engines.

            1. Merc Renault and Ford have used more engines than Ferrari. Renault and Ford for a long time supplied most the grid. Merc also have supplied many teams. Ferrari only have 2 customers a year maximum so incredible they are too of that list.

          2. Sundar Srinivas Harish
            19th July 2017, 13:49

            That’s when Ford was actually in the racing biz. Let’s just hope this Ford GT hypetrain continues, and that they start looking at motorsport seriously once more.

            1. I’m sure those Ford wins were basically Cosworth though?

      2. I agree 100%. Nobody will come in now so close to 2020 but F1 needs to ensure that the next engine is significantly simpler so we can have competitive independent engine suppliers.

      3. Adrian, if you mean the sport needs a constructor which supplies engines but doesn’t have a team themselves, then technically they already have that in the shape of Honda…

        @rethla, in the case of Ford, the vast bulk of those wins (155 out of the 176 in total) were with the Ford Cosworth DFV – they didn’t enjoy a huge amount of success in later years. It also has to be said that, when Ford was involved in F1 in the 2000’s through Jaguar, they were notorious for their poor management and sometimes baffling technical decisions, so it hasn’t always been a positive tale for them.

    13. I was reading the Sainz part and thought to myself, “huh this guy is only 22”.

      I knew ithat already ofcourse but being reminded of it sometimes put things and his comments into perspective.

      It’s easy to forget how young some of these guys are and no matter how mature the do and must behave in the media, for all intends and purposes they are very young. And lets face it when you are young generally you’re dumb . I don’t mean not schooled or not having the intelectual capacity, but just young-dumb. They way you respond to things and see things without the proper life experience , that sort of thing. And that is ok, we all went through it and every human being only sees retrospectively how dumb they and their friends were when they were young(ish).

      But I felt it was good to remind myself of that once in a while when reading about things guys like sainz or kvyat or stroll etc sometimes say.
      (For frame of reference , I recently turned 38)

    14. Leclerc seems like the real deal, but would Ferrari ever contemplate giving a race seat to a rookie however talented they are? Haas seems like the obvious choice, but not sure either driver warrants replacement given their respective performances this year which have been broadly fine. This is why we need more teams!

      1. Kick Ericsson, put him in a Sauber.

    15. “Without getting too political, we have contracts with the team and not with the commercial rights holder.”

      That really is the key. F1 is a business and in business there needs to be a clear contractual requirement if you want someone to do something. In business people very rarely do things they aren’t contractually obliged to do. If FOM wants all 20 F1 drivers to be at F1 Live events, they have to put that in their agreements with the teams (or the next Concorde agreement if they ever sign one). The teams then need to pass that obligation on to the drivers by including it in their contracts. Simples.

      1. Except this isn’t true. We always do more than contractually obliged at our company. Just like our partners do for us.

        When our business partners have an marketing idea that exceeds current obligations and is for the good of both companies we do it, we help them and chip in.

        Its called good relations.

        1. You have a contract with your parents?!

    16. Disappointed that McLaren couldn’t work anything out for 2018. Honda is such a disaster that even a cash strapped team like Sauber want to dump it for 2018. I expect the agony to continue for McLaren… and honestly, I can’t see Alonso stick around if they still have Honda power at the back. He would definitely be on his way out as soon as possible. He’ll probably announce it at Spa if not earlier.

      1. But where will Alonso go, if anywhere in F1? I think Renault may still be an option. Looking at the performances Hulkenberg is able to produce it would be a move in the right direction. I don’t really see Sainz as a done deal for them and he has other options anyway.

        I cannot see Alonso staying at McLaren for another season like this.

        1. if anywhere in F1?

          @phil-f1-21 Well probably not then. I heard he wants to emulate Graham Hill

    17. Lol Silverston GP prices are 450ish GBP? And they cannot make a profit? Average income for two weeks is roughly that. Imagine taking yoir familly to the GP, roughly 2000£…

      Crazy.

      And then Liberty wonders why there are so few sponsors, entire business model is flawed.

      1. The British GP isn’t funded by the government or an irrational billionair group, that’s why.

        Every single GP runs at a severe loss but the national and local government bodies (or a sheihk or what have you) makes up the difference. Remember the report last year that the future of the US Grand Prix was unsure because the government payment went down from roughly $25m to under $18m?

        F1’s corporate owners is leveraging countries into coughing up taxpayer money to earn the right to be on the calender (let alone the operational cost and circuit alterations/maintanance) while meanwhile negotiating tax evations in their contracts (see the India GP tax lawsuit that’s going on now). That’s simply how the rich get richer.

      2. Every quotes the ticket price and calculates from there and like a genius declares that they must be making boat loads of cash. You all forget one thing. TAX!. They don’t get to keep all that cash. They have to give a shed load to Ms May & Co in tax, national insurance and even plain old insurance. They need to pay staff and the utility bills too. I am glad non of you are accountants.

        On the sponsorship front why would anyone want their name on an F1 car/team when there are millions of potential eyeballs locked out via paywalls? I’d rather put my product on a billboard in London. It would generate more sales and awareness.

        1. Isn’t there still something like 400 million viewers annually for F1? I’m sure a billboard in London would not match that. :)

          As to the high Silverstone ticket prices? That’s just their reality and if those prices prevent an obstacle then that will be up to Liberty to do something about…or nothing. Will be interesting to see what happens. Many believe Silverstone must remain on the calendar.

          1. Should say if those prices ‘present’ a problem…

    18. All this posturing by McLaren is nonsense. Mercedes couldn’t supply McLaren even if they wanted to. PU suppliers can supply a maximum of 3 teams; to supply more they need to have special dispensation to do so, which requires the agreement of the teams. Can you imagine the likes of Williams and Force India happily agreeing to giving McLaren a boost which would see them pushed down the order? Just because McLaren backed the wrong horse and didn’t do their homework when choosing a supplier?

      1. Mercedes were going to supply four teams this year with Manor like they did last year, up until this year they have supplied four teams engines since the new regulations so I dont know anything about this rule? After what happened in winter testing their were talks of Mclaren taking Manor’s allocation, it just would have been really difficult to do.

        1. Ferrari supplied four teams last year as well.

        2. There’s nothing new about the rules, they’re in the sporting regulations. There was dispensation for Mercedes to supply Manor, but that dispensation was based on Manor’s circumstances and can’t just be applied to another team. A new eception would have to be applied for and approved. Given that this hasn’t happened you can basically take it as read that McLaren will be sticking with Honda as long as Honda don’t pull out themselves.

        3. @addimaf1 Article 8.3 of the sporting regulations:

          A competitor may change the make of engine at any time during the Championship. All points scored with an engine of different make to that which was first entered in the Championship may count (and will be aggregated) for the assessment of a commercial benefit, however such points will not count towards (nor be aggregated for) the FIA Formula One Constructors Championship. A major car manufacturer may not directly or indirectly supply engines for more than three teams of two cars each without the consent of the FIA. For the purposes of this Article 8.3, a major car manufacturer is a company whose shares are quoted on a recognised stock exchange or the subsidiary of such a company.

          There is also a clarification in the appendices that if a team finds itself without a power unit supplier then a supplier will be allocated by the FIA on the basis of the supplier with the fewest customers – in that case the supplier would be…. Honda.

          Clearly there is no reason why the FIA (tasked with ensuring that the sport is run in a fair manner) would grant permission for Mercedes to supply an additional team purely on the basis of performance, where it would be to the detriment (both sporting and financial) to several other competitors on the grid.

          Also, the list of teams that each provider is supplying must be submitted by the 1st of June. So there are multiple reasons in the sporting regs why it wouldn’t have been possible for Mercedes to supply McLaren for 2018.

      2. I haven’t heard Mercedes they can’t supply McLaren so obviously they can, rules or not.

    19. Adam (@rocketpanda)
      19th July 2017, 11:02

      RE: COTD. Wow, who’s that guy? He’s great.

    20. I am baffled as to why Liberty can’t understand why they do not have many sponsors… It is quite obvious that putting F1 behind a paywall reduces audiences and therefore reduces the amount that sponsors are willing to pay and reduces the number of businesses wanting to set up sponsorship agreements.

      Football is different as the teams play regularly in a single country or area and even though they are behind a paywall the highlights are often on free to air and are much more suitable for highlights than F1. The games aired behind a paywall also get larger audiences as paying the subscription gives you access to hundreds of games rather than just 20 or so that F1 gives. Football also is part of the fabric of many countries.

      F1 is not suitable for paywalls and they would do well to understand this and attempt to move to free to air as quickly as possible.

      Having said this I also do not think putting football behind a paywall is sustainable for the long term either.

      1. It isn’t the case that Liberty doesn’t understand what’s going on, it is that they can’t believe BE didn’t do more. It is to say F1 should be in better shape than it is wrt corporate sponsors but BE didn’t put the work into it that they now will. And I’m sure they know exactly the impact of having some coverage under paywall with the rest being free-to-air, whatever that is anymore. I think there is and will remain a mix of coverages and Liberty will enhance internet activity too. Here in Canada we get the full Sky coverage and it is available on TSN, our main sports channel. So one can get Sky coverage for a fairly basic Satellite package, but that is still about $60 a month minimum. For all channels subscribed to. We’re paying $120 a month for our entire package of sports and movie channels. Is that ‘free-to-air’? I’m sure Liberty has all the numbers and knows what they can and can’t do without damaging viewership. One of the things they are trying to do is create a better product on the track for us and sponsors to buy.

        1. Yes you could be right there.

          They really do need to somehow get F1 back on Free to Air but it is a difficult process to undo. F1 has become so money hungry and Liberty bought into that by paying $8 billion for it. They somehow need to make their money back but also reduce the amount they charge for TV rights. In the long run it is the best thing to do but in the short to medium term they will not be getting any of their money back… Lets hope they see this as a long term investment rather than Bernies Hit and Run tactics..

    21. So, the same reason Mercedes weren’t willing to supply Red Bull, then.

      Nothing to see here.

      1. Yeah, and really has there been anything but rumour only around this issue? Mac had to move to an engine maker like Honda in order not to be a customer team. They can’t go back to being a customer as that guarantees them to never win. At this point they really just have to stick it out with Honda. They will have lost FA over it, but that is just how it has played out. They’ll need to earn their way back to having a car that can justify the likes of FA being there.

        1. as that guarantees them to never win

          It’s not a very strong guarantee though (e.g. 2009 and 2010, won by customer team when McLaren were a manufacturer team, though one of those did involve a lot of Honda money)

          1. @davidnotcoulthard True but was thinking moreso with the current PU format in mind where I don’t there is any longer such a thing as slapping a good ‘engine’ on a good chassis and away you go. The whole car is one unit now as far as I can tell, hence the advantage the factory teams have.

      2. Mercedes never said they won’t supply. They told to sort it out with Honda and then they can start negotiating. I am sure Mercedes wants Mclaren (more than Ferrari) to be competitive again.

    22. Evil Homer (@)
      19th July 2017, 14:04

      Again shows a real issue in F1 why we cant get 4 or 5 teams fighting for wins, not 2 at the top and a 3rd picks up the dregs on the odd occasion.

      Its easy to see why a team like Mercs dont want to give Red Bull or McLaren a PU just to get beaten by them, but having 2 teams with all the power (pardon the pun) doesnt work well either.

      I read today Cosworth are looking a plans for 2021 to maybe rejoin F1- cant be a bad thing.

      1. @evilhomer When were there ever 4 or 5 teams battling for wins? I can understand why that might seem appealing but to have that many teams winning over the course of a season would see very few repeat winners. I think having three drivers battling for the championship is the best really, as a pattern will emerge over the course of a season. If you had 5 competitive teams the championship might be won by someone who only won one race.

        1. Sure but I think that concern is a bit premature. Let’s first watch F1 evolve to having some closer racing as we are starting to see due to the tires. Aero is still harming close racing and the tires had to be conservative due to lack of testing on proper 2017 cars, so there’s much more to come from Brawn/Liberty. Let’s start by seeing them evolve to ridding themselves of DRS.

          I don’t think we are very close to seeing 5 teams that equal at the top such that a driver wins the WDC having only won one race. Not sure that will ever happen (again) but even if it does I’m not sure that would be terrible. It would still be rare even if conditions were such that it could happen, and it would just mean that if things were that close then good for the driver that came out ahead…as usual. The fans will have enjoyed some nail biting action in the meantime. Presumably the next engine/pu format will make more sense than one that has been so expensive and so complex that few have been able to solve it. Mercedes, and only just now Ferrari are close. I have faith that Liberty and Brawn are aware of all aspects that have occurred under BE, and what they need and want to address going forward.

          Having at least 2 drivers vying for the WDC until the end is always great, but having 5 drivers from the top 5 teams with a chance of a win on any given race weekend would be great too. With only 2, one gets knocked out through a hit or unreliability, and we’re left without as good a race.

          1. Evil Homer (@)
            20th July 2017, 0:31

            @mazdachris

            Probably never! We certainly have had 4 teams win in a year quiet often but I cant recall all going for Constructors Chamoionship. I cant see an issue with less wins for WDC, Keke Rosberg won in 1982 with 1 or maybe 2 wins.

            How about 3 teams going for the gold and 4 drivers up for the WDC then?? :)

        2. If you had 5 competitive teams the championship might be won by someone who only won one race.

          @mazdachris that’s a pretty good description of 1982

    23. First off, Mercedes would only have given McLaren their older spec engine anyway, just as they do with Williams and Force India – not good enough to win.

      As far as Ferrari, the engine seems to be losing ground to Merc and they will probably end up as they did in the Alonso years – no chance of winning. In fact there is a good chance Renault will catch and surpass them.

      Renault is the best option if possible. Renault claimed a few weeks ago they would be open to supply a 4th team with engines but that seems to have changed.

      If that’s the case, all they can do is stick with Honda. Who knows, maybe they will turn things around and be competitive next year.

      This will remain a problem with F1 and ratings will continue to slide if only one or two teams has the ability to win.

    24. I cannot believe Mercedes or Ferrari are really worried about McLaren beating them? Just sounds like media talk.

      But if it is true they can only call Renault, also not a top engine.

      Yeah. Fernando will be gone then?

      1. The reason Renault is the best option for McLaren is Renault supply their customers with the same spec engine they use, unlike Merc or Red, so the chance of winning is very real.
        Renault has had issues this year but they will solve them unlike Honda. Red Bull did win 4 championships with their engines.
        I hope they will supply to McLaren.

    25. Luke Harrison
      19th July 2017, 20:00

      Hamilton’s threats to quit F1 should be taken very seriously (The Sun)

      “(Hamilton’s) latest threat that he could be nearing the chequered flag of his career, should be taken extremely seriously.”

      The guy has to retire at some point. I don’t understand why it really matters, he’ll leave the sport, he’ll be replaced by the next fast, young thing. We’ll all move on and i imagine, all look forward to his first album

    26. mark from toronto
      21st July 2017, 15:03

      It was a HUGE mistake for the FIA to agree to such a complex engine formula, allow for such high prices for engines and to allow engine makers to decide who can buy their engines. For example, a team like Williams should be allowed to sell McLaren their engine contract in exchange for the Honda contract and $$$. The engine maker should have NO SAY in the matter. In either case making it about engines really diminishes the constructors element. Its pretty clear that Red Bull and McLaren probably have the best chassis but without competitive engines they do not get any reward.

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