As the 2018’s pre-season testing is drawing closer, the anticipation and expectation from the McLaren-Renault alliance is increasing. And Zak Brown has asserted that the Renault engine is fast.
The most complex engine deal I’ve ever seen is last year’s engine deal. After 3 years of absolute nightmare, McLaren got rid of Honda engines. The Red Bull family too frustrated by the lack of power and reliability, got their junior team rid of Renault engines.
At the end of the day, it is a very clever deal though. While McLaren had enough of Honda, they had nowhere else to go. Mercedes and Ferrari said no. Renault said their hands are full. On the other hand, Red Bull was facing a similar situation with Renault engines. In 2015, field leaders turned down Red Bull for an engine deal. The relationship with Renault has broken down irretrievably.
Red Bull’s only hope is in 2021 when the new regulations will take effect. New engine suppliers are expected to join the sport in 2021. But with Renault threatening to not renew the engine deal after 2018, Red Bull was forced to look for a short-term alternative.
And that’s how the deal was stuck between the two powerhouses. Yet at the end of the year, there was a sense of warning in everybody’s tone when the spoke of McLaren-Renault. Renault’s reliability wasn’t exactly something to boast about either. It hasn’t been in the entire V6 hybrid era so far. Red Bull and Toro Rosso’s struggles have been world known. Even in terms of pace, Renault has been a clear number 3 since 2014.
And this question was posed to Zak Brown too. How can he talk about taking McLaren to the front end of the grid with an engine whose predicament, although better, but is still the same as Honda?
Speaking about McLaren-Renault, Zak Brown asserted that Renault engine has the power. Pointing towards the fact that all the three engines won races last year, Brown said that the deficit isn’t that big. Although he was quick to admit too that Renault has reliability issues when they turn the power up.
A humble Zak Brown acceded to the fact that the McLaren chassis isn’t perfect either.
Speaking further on McLaren-Renault, he said that he was happy with the working relationship with Renault.