Brown: Renault move 'not a short-term fix'
20 September 2017 – McLaren's decision to part ways with Honda and move to Renault power for the 2018 season "is not a short-term fix", according to McLaren chief Zak Brown, who sees the foundation for a lengthy tie-up.
McLaren and Honda reunited in 2015 but the latest partnership has been characterised by a lack of reliability and performance, and the parties will split at the end of the year.
McLaren will instead take on Renault power units in a three-year deal, while Honda has signed a multi-year agreement with Toro Rosso, ensuring that it stays in Formula 1.
McLaren was rebuffed by engine pace-setters Mercedes and Ferrari before settling on Renault, but Brown reckons there is potential for a long-term arrangement with the French manufacturer.
"No, this is not a short-term fix," commented Brown, when asked about the change, and the next engine cycle, which will come into play from the 2021 campaign.
"At the end of the day, no-one knows yet what the engine rules are in 2021, so I think it's hard for anybody to look beyond 2020, because we don't know what '21 looks like.
"We think we've got a long-term partnership, the foundation for it.
"Renault's got a great history in the sport, won a lot of championships with Red Bull, won a lot of championships themselves, so we're very happy where we are.
"We think that we'll be very competitive together."
Honda's deal with Toro Rosso has led to talk that Red Bull could become the manufacturer's works team in the future, should it make sufficient progress with its engine.
However, rather than Honda winning elsewhere, Brown says his biggest concern is the current costs involved in Formula 1, which he hopes the new engine rules will go a long way to addressing.
"I think probably what we're most concerned about is not a Red Bull-Honda combination or any combination out there – we need to get budgets under control," he said.
"I think the reason you see the gaps in the field now is the gaps in budgets between the top two teams [Mercedes and Ferrari] and everyone else is way too big.
"The gaps seem to be getting bigger, [so] I think that's something that Formula 1 is going to address.
"That's probably where our biggest concern is, making sure we get a more level playing field, so that many teams can win races [from] '21 onwards."