Zak Brown reveals if McLaren’s PU is different to Lewis Hamilton’s engine

McLaren became a Mercedes customer team once again after ending their partnership with Renault two years ago.

With the 2022 Formula 1 season completed and somewhat in the past now, speculation has turned to what the future may hold, with the new engine regulations only a few years away.

2026 will see a huge change to the engine regulations, with the new engines set to be run on sustainable fuel as the sport continues to strive to improve their carbon footprint.

Due to the sport booming the way it is, a number of manufacturers have eyed up 2026 as the perfect time to join the sport; the issue, though, is where.

Audi have already been confirmed as a new engine manufacturer for 2026, with the side having reportedly agreed to take a 75-percent stake of the current Sauber team, whose partnership with Alfa Romeo will end at the end of 2023.

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Porsche are another who have been heavily rumoured as eager to join the sport, with the Germans having come incredibly close to doing so with Red Bull.

Red Bull and Porsche were incredibly close to signing a deal for the German manufacturer to supply the Austrians with power units from 2026, until the deal broke down.

In the end, Red Bull were reportedly unhappy with the VW-owned company’s requests, in regard to the stake they wanted in the team and the control they wanted over the engines.

Red Bull are now, of course, set to supply their own power units from 2026, with the side determined to be completely independent.

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The question now is where else can Porsche go, with many wondering if McLaren would be a strong fit.

Both McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown and team principal Andreas Seidl have links to the Germans; however, Brown has admitted that being powered by Mercedes currently has its “benefits”.

“There are obviously benefits to being a works team with some of the advanced knowledge that you get,” Brown said.

Williams is appearing to be Porsche’s best bet, with McLaren being “very happy” as a customer team of Mercedes.

Brown added that his side aren’t yet “thinking about 2026”, which does leave a door for Porsche slightly open, albeit only just.

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“We’re very happy with Mercedes,” admitted the American.

“I’m a believer that you can win a world championship with a customer engine. I think the engine in our car is no different than the engine in Lewis’ car.

“I think the engines are absolutely the same. We have a long-term contract with Mercedes, are very happy with the collaboration and aren’t really spending too much time thinking about 2026 and beyond.”