Reports claim Honda engineers already working at McLaren

1990: Ayrton Senna of Brazil in action in his McLaren Honda during the Monaco Grand Prix at the Monte Carlo circuit in Monaco. Senna finished in first place. Mandatory Credit: Pascal Rondeau/Allsport

Ayrton Senna in action driving a McLaren Honda during the 1990 season

McLaren is yet to sign an engine deal for the new Formula turbo V6 era beginning in 2014, according to Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport, and reports are mounting that the Woking squad have a deal on the table with Honda.

“Mercedes is pushing for a decision in the next days,” said correspondent Michael Schmidt.

The successful, title-winning McLaren-Mercedes partnership dates back almost two decades, but with Mercedes now with its own team, McLaren is no longer the ‘works’ partner.

According to Schmidt, the solution could be Honda.

“The question is whether the Japanese are coming in 2014 or not until 2015,” he said. “It is a poorly kept secret that McLaren is talking with Honda.”

In fact, Schmidt relayed paddock rumours that Honda already has engineers working at McLaren’s Woking headquarters, with a final board decision about whether the manufacturer will return to F1 after a half-decade absence “pending”.

Honda powered McLaren drivers to four world championship titles – Ayrton Senna in 1988, 1990 and 1991, with Alain Prost winning in 1989 in what was the golden era for the British squad. The team also won the constructors’ title in those years. (GMM)

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