McLaren and Honda have initiated talks over the possibility of a reunion in the world of Formula 1, as they explore their options for the 2026 engine rules. The two companies had previously collaborated at the start of the V6 turbo-hybrid era, but their relationship was cut short due to performance and reliability issues with the engine. Honda then went on to supply engines to Red Bull teams and played a crucial role in their consecutive championship wins in 2021 and 2022.
Although the talks are still in their early stages, Honda is still deciding whether to commit to being an engine supplier under the new regulations, and which team to partner with. Meanwhile, McLaren is considering whether to continue their partnership with Mercedes beyond 2025 or explore other options.
GET ONE MONTH FREE AND LEARN HOW TO BUILD YOUR OWN WEBSITE HERE
Honda had announced their departure from F1 in 2020 but agreed to continue supplying engines to Red Bull until 2025. However, the new engine rules, which will require engines to run on 100% sustainable and synthetic fuels, may be more compatible with Honda’s carbon neutrality goals. This, along with a change in leadership, could have led to Honda’s reconsideration of their exit from the sport.
Red Bull, on the other hand, has already secured its long-term engine future by partnering with Ford for the 2026 engine rules. This leaves Honda searching for another team to supply engines to. While independent teams like Williams have been linked, a McLaren deal would be the most spectacular given their previous failed partnership.
McLaren’s CEO, Zak Brown, is reportedly exploring all options, including visiting the Red Bull Powertrains facility and possibly looking into the fledgling Audi set-up. However, he has stated that they are “very happy” with their current supplier, Mercedes, and may continue their partnership.
The outcome of these talks remains uncertain, and only time will tell if the two companies can successfully reconcile and once again compete at the top of the sport.