McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh is not promising anything in regards to whether the team will stick to Mercedes engines in the future or switch to a different supplier. However, though Whitmarsh is refusing to confirm claims that McLaren will continue using Mercedes engines beyond 2014, he is not confirming their replacement, though everyone strongly believes that the team will use Honda engines.
Talks have been made and Honda has indeed confirmed that they have made plans to return to the sport as engine supplier for McLaren, but for 2015. McLaren has a contract in place for 2014, but for 2015 the situation is different. McLaren only has an option to use Mercedes engines and asked if Mercedes would still be engine supplier beyond 2014, Whitmarsh said:
“I can definitely say that we are with them for some time, we have a contract and we have been talking about it for some time. There is nothing to announce at the moment. I can’t elaborate any further. We have a contract that covers the next three seasons at the moment and we will certainly go into next year with Mercedes-Benz. We have a long and successful partnership with them.”
So did Whitmarsh say that McLaren will use Honda engines? Not specifically, but Honda has been doing this for some time. They don´t let the cat out of the bag, unless they are serious. So Whitmarsh might not technically say that Honda will supply engines for McLaren from 2015, but then again, he just did, didn´t he?
The last time McLaren partnered with Honda, the results were staggering. Four drivers titles in as many years, one for Alain Prost, three for Ayrton Senna.