Bernie Ecclestone says McLaren CEO Ron Dennis is attempting to exercise a veto in an effort to prevent Honda from supplying Red Bull Racing next year.
News emerged over the United States Grand Prix weekend that Red Bull has held discussions with Honda about a potential deal that would see the Japanese firm supply its engines next season in an attempt to further development of the power unit.
It comes despite McLaren repeatedly championing its exclusive relationship with Honda, while the engine manufacturer has also played down the likelihood of having resources to supply a second team in the short-term now.
However, Ecclestone says Honda's opinion has since changed, but while its intentions are in line with an agreement to FOM and the FIA that it would supply multiple teams from 2016, Dennis is insisting the relationship remains exclusive to McLaren.
“At the moment, it would appear that Honda are happy to give them an engine, and Mr Dennis thinks they shouldn't,” he told reports in Austin. “Although Honda have an agreement with the FIA and myself that we allowed them into F1 supplying engines to one team in the first year, two teams the second and three teams the third, and they somehow got involved and made a commitment to Ron that he had a veto on any engines.”
Indeed, though Ecclestone says Dennis is steadfast in his position on any potential deal with Red Bull, it remains to be seen whether his view will be heeded or whether it will result in a legal issue.
“Ron doesn't want Red Bull. I think he believes they may be competitors. Ron has said definitely not [to Honda] as far as he's concerned [but] I don't know if his veto will stand.
“Red Bull could only run Honda if Honda agreed and they won't agree and have an argument with Ron, because Ron could sue them.”
Red Bull remains without an engine supply for the 2016 season, with Honda emerging as a potential candidate in the absence of any viable option from Mercedes, Ferrari and erstwhile supplier Renault.