Sainz Renault deal sets up McLaren Honda changes

Carlos Sainz has signed a deal to join Renault and trigger a series of domino changes that will secure McLaren the French car manufacturer's engines for 2018, Autosport has learned

Sainz Renault deal sets up McLaren Honda changes

While news of McLaren's progress in its efforts to switch from Honda engines has not been forthcoming in public, behind-the-scenes developments have been taking place that appear to show it has succeeded.

High level sources have confirmed that Sainz's deal has been agreed as part of a sweetener for Renault to end its Toro Rosso contract early.

With the Sainz deal arranged, that has opened the way for Toro Rosso to finalise a switch to Honda engines for next year, which in turn ensures McLaren will get hold of a supply of customer Renault power units for 2018.

After a frantic Italian Grand Prix weekend, where discussions to sort the McLaren-Honda situation were intense, it emerged that Sainz was becoming a key part of the equation.

Renault indicated that it wanted some incentive to switch its customer supply from Toro Rosso to McLaren.

With Sainz, it has a promising youngster to run alongside Nico Hulkenberg to help its efforts to move up the grid.

Although the provisional deal is for 2018, sources have suggested that Sainz could join Renault as early as this year's Malaysian Grand Prix if the outfit elects not to continue with Jolyon Palmer.

If that development happens from Sepang, then it is likely that Pierre Gasly will be given the call-up to join Daniil Kvyat at Toro Rosso.

No firm decision has been taken regarding Sainz's full-time replacement for 2018, but one contender would be Honda junior driver Nobuharu Matsushita, who will likely be released from his McLaren development driver role.

However, Matsushita does not yet have enough superlicence points to be able to race in F1, and needs to have a strong end to his 2017 Formula 2 campaign to secure third place in the championship to get the required 40 points to step up.

The Sainz-Renault deal has cleared the way for Toro Rosso to complete a switch to Honda engines, with the Faenza-based team also taking a supply of McLaren gearboxes for it to use with the Japanese company's power unit.

Once the Toro Rosso-Honda agreement has been finalised, then the final issue to be sorted will be McLaren's Renault contract - although that will then likely be a formality.

It is thought that all the deals will be completed by the start of next week to ensure that announcements can be made ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix.

shares
comments
McLaren insists Lando Norris won't be loaned to another F1 team

Previous article

McLaren insists Lando Norris won't be loaned to another F1 team

Next article

Brawn: F1 looking to increase number of F2 drivers in GP practice

Brawn: F1 looking to increase number of F2 drivers in GP practice
Load comments
The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Plus

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Plus

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says STUART CODLING

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Plus

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix crash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Plus

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021
Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season? Plus

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season?

OPINION: With Valtteri Bottas already signed up for 2022, all eyes are on the race for the second seat at Alfa Romeo next year. Antonio Giovinazzi is the current incumbent, but faces a tough competition from appealing short and long-term prospects

Formula 1
Sep 15, 2021
The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence Plus

The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence

OPINION: Daniel Ricciardo has long been considered one of Formula 1’s elite drivers. But his struggles at McLaren since switching from Renault for 2021 have been painful to watch at times. Yet he’s recovered to banish those memories with a famous Monza win – built on a critically important foundation

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton Plus

How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton

OPINION: The Italian GP clash between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen followed a running theme in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight. Their close-quarters battles have often resulted in contact - and although Hamilton has shown a willingness to back off, Verstappen must learn to temper his aggression

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
Italian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Italian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Two drivers produced maximum-score performances as, for the second year in a row, Monza threw up an unpredictable result that left several others ruing what might have been

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021