McLaren CEO Zak Brown says his side did not consider approaching Ferrari over a possible Formula 1 engine tie-up because it would represent a “clear brand clash”.

Ahead of qualifying for this weekend’s Russian Grand Prix it was announced that McLaren and Mercedes would reunite their former engine partnership from the 2021 F1 season, after the Woking squad and Renault agreed to end its collaboration at the end of 2020.

Brown believes McLaren will have the strongest engine in F1 when the two brands join forces, despite the power unit resurgence shown by Ferrari over the past year.

"I think in Formula 1 you have to look at a longer period of time other than a handful of races,” Brown said.

“Obviously the Ferrari engine looks extremely strong at the moment but when you look at the commitment of Mercedes-Benz and where they have been - also as a race team - it’s a great yardstick for us. We’ve not considered Ferrari.

“I think it’s also a clear brand clash with our McLaren road car business and from just making engines just fiscally it’s nothing that makes sense for us.

“I think you need to be a significantly larger OEM that can warrant the spend to justify all the exposure that it generates for a larger volume of car sales, which clearly does make sense for a Mercedes, a Renault, a Honda but doesn’t make sense for a McLaren given the volume of cars we sell.”

Asked if he was ever concerned about not having an engine deal agreed in time for 2021, Brown replied: “No. Renault, in everything they have indicated [to us] is very committed to the sport.

“And given our relationship in the past with Mercedes we do know how committed they are to the sport.

“A lot of people inside McLaren worked with Mercedes back when we were last together and we know a lot of people over in Brixworth, so I think we are very comfortable with the commitment Mercedes has to the sport on a long-term basis.”



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