McLaren boss Zak Brown says switching engine suppliers in 2021 became the most logical time given the wider rules overhaul set to hit Formula 1 which he believes gives the team greater scope to take advantage of the changes.

After a failed partnership with Honda ended in 2017, McLaren has used Renault power units for the past two seasons but from 2021 the Woking-based team will swap engines again to take Mercedes power – reuniting the two for the first time since 2014.

While engine regulations remain stable going into 2020, McLaren has opted to make the power unit change in a year and develop its 2021 car with the Mercedes engine in mind.

McLaren chief executive Brown sees the move as one the team can exploit as part of the F1 rules shake-up which will see significant alterations to car design due to aerodynamic rule changes and the introduction of 18-inch wheels.

“Everyone’s going to be in the same boat, in the sense of 2021 is going to be such a change from 2020 that everyone’s going to be starting from a clean sheet of paper – but we’re up for it,” Brown said.

“It’s one of the reasons we made an early decision, to give ourselves as much time as possible. I think 2021’s going to be exciting for Formula 1 and for the fans because when there’s a big change like that, someone’s going to get it right; someone’s going to get it wrong. The trend is to converge over time but I’m excited for the 2021 season – but also excited for 2020, of course.”

McLaren has produced its best F1 campaign in the V6 Hybrid era – and best overall since 2012 – as the team finished in fourth place in the world constructors’ championship while also returning to the podium for the first time in five-and-a-half years with Carlos Sainz’s promoted third place at the Brazilian Grand Prix.

“I think it’s been a big achievement, given where we’ve been the last couple of years,” he said. “I think the team’s done an excellent job, both at the factory and at the track. Everyone is contributing.

“Renault has played a big part in us getting more competitive again. They’ve been a fantastic partner.

“Drivers are doing a very good job, bringing the car home and in the points often, so it’s certainly been a pleasure racing this year, when I look back to Abu Dhabi last year.”

McLaren goes into 2020 with an unchanged line-up having retained both Sainz and Lando Norris as drivers as it looks to continue to close the deficit on the top three teams.

From 2021 Mercedes will be supplying engines to four out of 10 teams on the F1 grid, with Renault set to only provide for its works squad.