McLaren ditches Honda for Renault power units

Its patience with Honda having run out, eight-time Formula One champion McLaren has ditched its engine partner for Renault.

A switch to more reliable engines is likely to see Alonso stick with McLaren for at least another year alongside Vandoorne.   -  Getty Images

McLaren has confirmed it has formally ended its engine partnership with Honda and made the switch to Renault power units.

Together McLaren and Honda dominated the sport from 1988-91, winning four consecutive driver's and constructor's titles, but their latest alliance has been doomed from the start.

Constantly playing catch-up to Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault, Honda's power units have been under-performing and unreliable, leaving Fernando Alonso, Jenson Button and Stoffel Vandoorne languishing in midfield at best.

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The eight-time constructors' champion has scored points at just two races this year and sits above only Sauber in the standings ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix.

Zak Brown, McLaren Technology Group Executive Director said: "There has never been any doubt over Honda's commitment and energy to the mission of success in Formula 1.

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"They are proven winners and innovators. For a combination of reasons our partnership has not flourished as any of us would have wished. It is certainly not for the want of effort on the part of either Honda or McLaren, but the time has come to move ahead in different directions.

"As fellow racers, we hope to see the great name of Honda get back to the top – our sport is better for their involvement. I know this view is shared by everyone in the sport.

"Today's [Friday] announcement gives us the stability we need to move ahead with our chassis and technical programme for 2018 without any further hesitation.

"As an organisation, McLaren has always worked extremely hard to form lasting partnerships with its technical suppliers. We're convinced that we can bring real value to Renault Sport Racing as we work alongside it to develop this current power unit into a regular race winner."

A switch to more reliable engines is likely to see Alonso stick with McLaren for at least another year alongside Vandoorne.

The two-time world champion skipped the Monaco Grand Prix this year to compete at the Indianapolis 500, such was his disillusionment with the current car.

Meanwhile, Renault has confirmed it has terminated its partnership with Red Bull's sister team Toro Rosso.