‘Honda rumours wide of the mark’

Date published: November 24 2011

McLaren’s MD Jonathan Neale has rubbished rumours that the Woking outfit is set to team up with Honda in 2014…

McLaren’s MD Jonathan Neale has rubbished rumours that the Woking outfit is set to team up with Honda in 2014.

Last weekend, a report was run by reputed German publication, Auto Moto und Sport, in which it stated that McLaren were considering dropping Mercedes as their engine supplier.

Instead, the Woking outfit were looking to Honda to fill the void when F1 begins its new era of V6 turbo engines.

However, according to Neale, there is no truth to the rumours.

“That is all wide of the mark,” Neale said during a Vodafone phone-in.

“We are very happy with and enjoying our partnership with Mercedes-Benz. We are not quite sure where that story came from in truth.

“But I can stop the rumour and say that we are entirely focused on out Mercedes-Benz relationship. It is a long one spanning many wins and Championships and long may it continue.”

Pressed as to whether it was a concern for McLaren to be a ‘customer team’ to Mercedes, who now have their own Formula One outfit, Neale said: “I don’t think that’s a concern.

“Of course Mercedes have their own team and it’s right and proper that a degree of focus is going in that direction.

“I have just been talking this morning to Thomas Kerr at Mercedes-Benz – we speak frequently – and we want the same thing. It’s in our interest to have a consistent engine.

“Thomas was pleased Mercedes got six cars in the top ten in qualifying on Saturday in Abu Dhabi. They take real pleasure and delight in that, as they should.

“And of course we like to beat them all as well, so that worked well for us. They are formidable technical partners and we enjoy that relationship.”

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