‘McLaren won’t influence Renault engine until 2020’


McLaren’s influence on Renault’s power unit won’t be felt until at least 2020 with Cyril Abiteboul revealing it is too late in the game for them to have a say in the hardware.

This season McLaren will race with Renault power having ended their relationship with Honda.

It is a move that means McLaren are now a customer, along with Red Bull, as opposed to have works status as they did with Honda.

However, as the relationship progresses Abiteboul believes McLaren will be able to influence the progression of the engine – it just won’t be for the next two years.

“It’s a bit complex,” Abiteboul told Motorsport.com. “First and foremost, we developed a complete power unit before working with McLaren.

“So it’s not like with Honda, where Honda was dependent upon McLaren – we have the whole parameters of the power unit under our responsibility.

“We will take it step by step. We want to be very pragmatic. Clearly for 2018 and even 2019, it’s very late for McLaren to have any influence on the hardware of the engine.

“Having said that, we want to be humble. We accept that we can improve our product, that we have to improve our product, and we will be open to their suggestion.

“It’s more on the medium to long-term. We have to accept it’s a new relationship, we will have to see how it evolves, but if it’s working well, if it’s a fruitful and positive relationship, then there is no reason it could not go further than this cycle of regulation.

“But it’s not something for before 2020 in my opinion.”