McLaren dismiss Mercedes engine concern

According to reports, three more manufacturers are considering a move to Formula 1 in 2026.

As another season of Formula 1 has drawn to a close with a 15th victory of the 2022 season for Max Verstappen, rumours of potential new manufacturers interested in joining the championship have intensified.

The sport is well and truly enjoying a ‘boom’ at the moment, with the championship seeing record attendances and ever-increasing TV viewers, resulting in the sport producing record profits.

Formula 1 has perhaps recovered from the Coronavirus pandemic better than any other sport around the world, with audiences in North America and the Middle East having dramatically increased.

Liberty Media do as well need to share some of the credit for the sport’s current success, with the new ‘entertainment’ approach seemingly working a treat in regard to the amount of money the sport is making.

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With that in mind, it should come as no shock that more manufacturers are reportedly interested in joining the pinnacle of motorsport, following in the footsteps of Audi, who have been confirmed as an engine supplier for Sauber from 2026, after reportedly taking a 75-percent stake in the side.

2026 is a target supposedly for several other carmakers as well, given that the new engine regulations will be introduced then.

2026 will see new sustainable power units introduced, with the goal being to reduce carbon emissions, with 100-percent sustainable fuel also set to be used.

This is believed to be a huge incentive for a number of companies, with Porsche, Honda and Ford all reportedly interested in joining the championship, according to Auto Motor und Sport.

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Given that Red Bull has signed up to supply its own power unit in 2026, any role regarding Honda will likely see the Japanese company hold a similar role to the side as they do now, with Ford rumoured to be interested in the same.

Should Honda want to supply their own power units, then they’d need to look beyond Red Bull, something which is perhaps unlikely given that they are in a partnership with the Austrians currently until the end of 2025.

Porsche, however, have been linked to Williams and now McLaren, given that the Germans enjoyed a successful collaboration with the Woking-based side in the 80s.

McLaren CEO Zak Brown, though, has revealed that his side are “very happy” with their current deal with Mercedes.

Brown added that as it stands they aren’t thinking about 2026 just yet, as they plan to see out their “long term contract” with the Silver Arrows.

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“We’re very happy with Mercedes,” Brown said in Abu Dhabi.

“I’m a believer that you can win a world championship with a customer engine.

“There’s obviously benefits to being a works team with some of the advanced knowledge that you get, but we have a long term contract with Mercedes, we’re very happy with the collaboration, and we aren’t really spending too much time thinking about 2026 and beyond.”