McLaren to come crawling back to Honda after Red Bull glory

McLaren parted ways with Honda in 2018, going on to work with Renault and then Mercedes.

The relationship between McLaren and Honda was not a successful one, as the team struggled to be even slightly competitive during their time partnered with the Japanese manufacturer.

The unreliable and uncompetitive Honda engine led to a number of infamous Fernando Alonso meltdowns, with the iconic “GP2 engine,” shouts coming from when the Spaniard was plummeting out of the points positions due to his low engine power.

Since McLaren parted ways with Honda in 2018, the engine provider has gone on to achieve great things, much to the annoyance of McLaren.

As of 2019, Honda have been provided Red Bull Racing with their power units, helping the team to the constructors’ championship last season, and powering Max Verstappen’s two consecutive drivers’ championships.

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With Red Bull and Honda parting ways in 2026 as Red Bull Powertrains enters the sport with Ford, it has been rumoured that McLaren could go crawling back to Honda for a second chance, having seen the improvements that they have made.

Honda has registered to remain an engine provider when the regulations change in 2026, but this does not necessarily mean that they will definitely remain in the sport, as they are currently weighing up their options.

Back in 2014, before McLaren’s previous stint with Honda, their then team boss Ron Dennis claimed that customer teams cannot win championships, words that will be echoing in the ear of current CEO Zak Brown.

“My opinion, and it is an opinion held my many people within our organisation, is that you gave no chance of winning the World Championship if you are not receiving the best engines from whoever is manufacturing your engines,” he said.

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McLaren are on a long journey to return to title contention, having spent over a decade now without being able to challenge the likes of Mercedes and Red Bull.

With brand new state-of-the-art technology slowly becoming available for the team, CEO Zak Brown has claimed that it could only be a couple of years until McLaren can consistently compete for race wins.

This will come as music to the ears of Lando Norris, who has reportedly become a target for Red Bull, should McLaren not improve significantly in the near future.