Toto Wolff says there is no lingering ill-feeling between McLaren and Mercedes over the Spygate saga that rocked Formula 1 back in 2007 ahead of their reunion in two years’ time.

McLaren announced last weekend that it would be ending its power unit agreement with Renault at the end of 2020 in order to reforge ties with Mercedes, who supplied engines to the British team between 1995 and 2014.

McLaren was Mercedes’ de facto works outfit in F1 for much of that period, only for the ‘Spygate’ scandal of 2007 to begin the breakdown of the relationship after the team was thrown out of the constructors’ championship and landed a $100 million fine.

Mercedes returned to F1 with a full factory team in 2010 before its relationship with McLaren ended four years later.

Asked if there were any doubts or ill-feeling about rekindling the partnership for 2021 as a result of Spygate, Mercedes F1 chief Wolff stressed it was a chapter that had been closed for both parties.

“I think that is a dark time for McLaren and Mercedes back in the day,” Wolff said.

“It cost us both quite some money to remedy the actions of individuals.

“In this respect, there are no feelings at all. We have moved on.

“It’s 12 years later, and hasn’t played any role for the decision.”

Mercedes looks set to supply four teams with power units from the 2021 season, adding McLaren to its existing customer roster that also includes Williams and Racing Point.

Wolff has already made clear that the deal is not a pre-cursor to McLaren becoming Mercedes’ works team once again, underlining the German manufacturer’s commitment to its factory operation.

 

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