McLaren’s expected split from Honda is set to be announced in Singapore as part of the mega-deal of ‘dominoes’ which will see Renault become its engine supplier for 2018 with Honda turning to Toro Rosso as part of the biggest shake-up for next season.

While driver line-ups look largely untouched for 2018, the biggest movers will become clear during the Singapore GP after multiple sources confirmed an announcement would be made on McLaren’s divorce from Honda.

As part of the domino effect McLaren boss Zak Brown told reporters on Friday at Monza, a number of announcements are set to follow with Renault supplying the Woking-based team on a three-year deal to see it through to the next regulation changes at the end of 2020.

“I think once the main domino falls, everything else will fall into place,” Brown said. “The engine manufacturers are not geared up for additional teams at this point. Everyone is trying to work together and we anticipate some decisions this week.

"The regulations are in the middle of the year for a fourth team is to be supplied. We've been very close with the FIA and Chase Carey and they're being very helpful to get through this."

Honda will secure its future in F1 after a disastrous three years with McLaren by moving to supply Toro Rosso, where with less pressure for immediate results it could see the Japanese manufacturer potentially attract Red Bull if its turnaround in fortunes is impressive enough to produce a competitive power unit.

As part of the sweetener for Renault, who will supply Red Bull and McLaren which will arguably be more competitive than the French marque in 2018, Carlos Sainz is rumoured to be handed a race seat at Renault alongside Nico Hulkenberg for 2018.

McLaren and Honda split negotiations have been ongoing for weeks and an official confirmation is expected within the coming days as the British team has lost patience with an unreliable and underperforming power unit. A potential Renault deal should also see two-time Formula 1 world champion Fernando Alonso re-sign on a one-year deal as he awaits the predicted driver market shift in 2018 which could see seats become available at Mercedes, Red Bull or Ferrari.

If Sainz is to move to Renault, it would free up a race seat at Toro Rosso for Red Bull junior driver Pierre Gasly, 2016 GP2 Series champion, who is impressing in the Japanese Super Formula championship this year – a similar path to McLaren rookie Stoffel Vandoorne.

Rumours emerged that Gasly could be in line for a move into the Toro Rosso fold as early as the Malaysian Grand Prix, with Sainz moving to Renault to displace Jolyon Palmer, but the French driver has since refuted the claims on Twitter.

The engine manufacturer moves are expected to be announced at the same time during the Singapore race weekend in order to give time for details to be finalised after an initial deadline at Monza was missed.

Comments

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register to add your comment

I have a feeling Honda may be back in a big way before too long and mclaren may regret dropping Honda. Understandable that McLaren has lost patience; but once Honda gets back on track I doubt Renault will be able to compete. Honda has so much experience in both 2 and 4 wheel racing and let's be honest; more money than god himself to throw at racing I'd they really wanted to. I suspect Honda will get things sorted out with Torro Rosso and then Red Bull will snatch up the Honda powerplant and finally be able to challenge Ferrari and Mercedes again. Would love to see them winning races in the future. 

Yes, Honda had their own team and achieved one win in 10 seasons. They spent almost as much as Toyota, who didn't even manage a win. It is possible that Honda could suddenly find themselves competitive, but previous experience would suggest not. Spending vast amounts does not guarantee success as Toyota and Honda proved.

 

I think the moto GP bikes improved with F1 technology. They used to be 2-strokes