Cyril Abiteboul has confirmed that Renault held talks with McLaren over a Formula 1 engine supply for the 2018 season, but ruled out supplying a fourth team.

Renault currently supplies power units to its own factory team, Red Bull and Toro Rosso, but was approached by McLaren amid its ongoing struggles with Honda.

Renault represents McLaren’s last alternative to Honda for 2018 after talks with Mercedes and Ferrari came to nought, with time ticking for a decision to be made.

Speaking in Friday’s FIA press conference ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix, Abiteboul confirmed that talks with McLaren had taken place, but stressed Renault would not entertain the idea of powering four teams in 2018.

“The situation is that we have a multi-year contracts with Red Bull Racing and Toro Rosso,” Abiteboul said.

“I can confirm that there have been discussions with McLaren. There is a restriction in the regulations if we wanted to supply more than three teams.

“Any addition to that, I don’t think that it would be reasonable to believe that we could supply more than three without degrading the level of service and the quality of service for the other teams.

“We’ve had discussions. Frankly we have a contract in place. We value the relationship with Red Bull. It’s a long-standing relationship and we would like to carry this relationship until its term, 2020.”

Had Toro Rosso and Honda's discussions over a possible link-up for 2018 come to fruition, a deal may have been possible for McLaren with Renault, only for these talks to collapse and be officially denied by both parties on Friday.

 

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