McLaren would be interested in developing its own Formula 1 engine from 2021 so long as the new regulations are economically viable and attractive enough, according to executive director Zak Brown.

McLaren is nearing a final decision about its engine partner for 2018, with a switch to Renault being considered as well as potentially extending the existing partnership with Honda despite its ongoing struggles.

Brown confirmed on Friday at Monza that any decision will be chiefly based on short-term thinking in a bid to improve McLaren’s on-track displays, with no long-term calls being made until the plans for shaking up the engine regulations in 2021 are made clear.

Related Articles

“We're interested to see what the new engine formula is in 2021, whether we'd consider doing our own engine, whether other people would come in under new rules,” Brown said.

“I think right now we've got to focus on the next three years. As soon as we get that figured out, we've got to look out.

“But I think the landscape in Formula 1 is going to change in a very positive way from 2021 onwards with budget caps and revenue redistribution and new engine rules.

“I think it's a little hard to take any decisions on '21 because so many things will change.”

When pressed about McLaren building its own power unit in-house, Brown stressed it would only be possible if it was cost-effective and a significant shift away from the current formula.

“For us to do our own engine, that’s not something we’ve done before, so that would require good lead time and some expenditure that we would consider doing,” Brown said.

“We just need to have an understanding of the path forward, what are the rules and what are they going to cost.

“We certainly wouldn’t be in a position to spend the hundreds of millions that it takes now to develop engines.

“So they’re going to have to change the engine formula for it to be something that is economically viable for us.”