by Adrian-Liviu Dorofte

F1 Gossip: Mercedes-Benz angry about McLaren switching to Honda from 2015

For more than 17 years, McLaren and Mercedes-Benz have been almost a single brand in Formula 1. By far one of the most successful technical partnerships in the world of motorsport, the McLaren-Mercedes association enjoyed both victorious and challenging times through its existence.

Several constructors' titles during the long-term agreement and three driver championship prizes with Mika Häkkinen in 1998 and 1999 and Lewis Hamilton in 2008 are among the outstanding milestones of the cooperation between McLaren and Mercedes-Benz.

2014 will be the final year with McLaren-Mercedes on the starting grid, because after 19 years with the Star brand, the Woking-based team decided to go for a new technical partnership with Honda thus reuniting the former glory McLaren-Honda where F1 stars such as Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost made history during the late 80s and early 90s.

The MP4-29 single-seater programmed for next year will be the last McLaren to receive Mercedes-Benz' brand new 1.6-litre V6 turbo engine producing 750 hp (find out more details HERE & HERE), along with the ancillary devices: the transmission and the ERS unit (Energy Recovery System).

Following the official announcement made by Vodafone McLaren Mercedes regarding its future cooperation with Japanese constructor, executives from Mercedes-Benz and and experts from the Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains engine facility in Brixworth, UK, have started fearing about a possible intellectual property breach during the next season from McLaren which would affect the German brand and technically benefit Honda.

In an interview to Speed Week, Toto Wolff, head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport, is quoted stating: “It is of course not an ideal situation, if a customer goes away, especially when it's someone like McLaren, which is as long driven Mercedes engines and celebrated great successes with us. This is of course unpleasant, but that's a decision that has taken so the team, and we look forward principle that an additional competitor comes into the F1. Honda is a top brand and as the saying goes: competition is good for business.”

Moreover, asked on the possibility other teams could switch to Honda power, he adds: “No, I think there is anyway only a limited ability to deliver customer teams. For us, this is somewhere between three and four teams, and we are confident that we will launch in the coming years, with at least three teams in Formula 1.”

So, our first speculation regarding the future Telmex McLaren Honda F1 Team have proven to be right, after this announcement and the special branding of the McLaren cars in Spain, who carried the logo of Clarovideo (a sub-brand of Telmex, a telecommunication company controlled by Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim who also financially supports Checo's activity in Formula 1) on their rear wing during Sunday's race.

As an important note, we will continue our updates on McLaren up to the end of the 2014 season, when the current partnership with Mercedes-Benz comes to an end. Hopefully, someday in the future, the two constructors will once again reunite their forces for a long-term alliance.

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