Lewis Hamilton hopes his former team McLaren can compete for the Constructors’ Championship in 2021 with Mercedes power.
2020 marked the final season of McLaren’s engine deal with Renault, and for next year they will reignite their relationship with Mercedes.
The Woking outfit have been on an upward trend over the past few seasons, recovering well from their dip in the early to mid 2010s, and that hard work was rewarded with P3 in the Constructors’ Championship.
Lando Norris qualified only two-tenths slower than the fastest Mercedes at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, giving hope that with the more powerful Merc engine in the back, McLaren could become challengers at the top again.
And Hamilton hopes the team who took him to his first World Championship in 2008 can join Mercedes and Red Bull in making it a three-way fight for Championship glory in 2021.
“I’m really happy to see the McLaren so close, particularly with how they’ve got changes and they’re using our engine next year,” he is quoted by RaceFans.net.
“It’s great to see that, at the end of the year with a good car, so that they can perhaps be in the fight with us next year. If that makes it a three-way team championship. I think that would be amazing for the fans to see.”
This time, the relationship between Mercedes and McLaren will be slightly different, as McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl has explained.
These days, with Mercedes having a works team in Formula 1 it means McLaren are the customer outfit, but Seidl said he has no concerns about that while adding that already the partnership is showing promising signs in preparation for the 2021 season.
“In terms of the co-operation we have for the partnership with Mercedes it started really very well, straight from the first meeting onwards. It’s a very open, co-operative partnership,” he said.
“The guys in Brixworth are very experienced, there’s also obviously a lot of history between the guys in Brixworth and McLaren which helped us to get going again.
“But it is also clear that it is a different partnership compared to the past. There’s a Mercedes works team in Formula 1 and we are a customer, but I’m very happy with everything I’ve seen so far.
“The integration of the Mercedes power unit is going really well and I’m sure we will be in good shape next year from the first race onwards.”