Speculation over a possible McLaren-Renault partnership in 2018 continued at Monza on Friday with Zak Brown later admitted that McLaren have spoken with the French manufacturer.
According to reports in the build-up to the Italian Grand Prix weekend, McLaren are chasing a Renault engine deal for 2018.
Although that was believed to be out of the question given that Renault already supply three teams, talks between Honda and Toro Rosso have reportedly been revived, paving the way for McLaren to jump ship.
And with Renault bosses Abiteboul, Alain Prost and Jerome Stoll all pictured leaving McLaren’s motorhome along with F1 sporting boss Brawn, all signs point to, at the very least, talks about a possible engine deal.
Reunión en la planta noble de McLaren con Renault (Abiteboul) y el jefe deportivo de la F1, Ross Brawn. Así hablaban a la puerta de McLaren pic.twitter.com/aGiX8nV3m1
— carlos miquel (@carlosmiquelf1) September 1, 2017
McLaren team boss Zak Brown was later asked about the meeting and admitted that he had spoken with Renault.
“It is very complicated,” he told Sky Sports. “There are a variety of pieces to the puzzle – some in our control, some not.
“It can still go either way. It’s probably one of the biggest decisions McLaren have ever had to make.”
He added: “The best thing for McLaren is to make the best sporting decision possible.
“We are here to win so we are going to make a sporting decision.
“We can’t afford not to be on the podium.
“It’s a big decision that has lots of elements to it and economics are one.
“But fortunately we have extremely committed shareholders which means we can make a sporting decision and deal with the economics.”