Fresh Crisis Erupts in Formula One With McLaren Blocking Honda Deal with Red Bull

Struggling McLaren have created a crisis by blocking a deal between their team’s engine suppliers Honda and Red Bull that could be the key to keeping the former champions in Formula One.

After another humiliating display by McLaren at the Mexican Grand Prix where two-time champion Fernando Alonso was forced to retire after one lap and Jenson Button finished a distant 14th, it emerged that Honda are keen to supply Red Bull, but unable to do so because team boss Ron Dennis holds a right of veto.

A Honda deal with Red Bull would also be welcomed by the sport’s commercial ring-master Bernie Ecclestone and, many believe, help the Japanese company develop speed and reliability faster than by remaining a single-team supplier.

Red Bull have given notice they are ending their deal with Renault and have failed to reach agreement with both Mercedes and Ferrari for a supply of engines for next year.

In the wake of another wretched weekend that saw Button given massive grid penalties – 70 places – for his power unit changes, one seasoned and highly-respected commentator, former British F1 driver Martin Brundle, said it was no exaggeration to say the team was “in crisis”.

Honda motorsport boss Yasuhisa Arai told reporters in Mexico that their situation towards Red Bull was “open”, but McLaren team manager Eric Boullier moved swiftly to quash this.

McLaren have won eight constructors’ world championships and 12 drivers’ titles since they first entered Formula One at the 1966 Monaco Grand Prix.
They have not won in 55 races dating back to the 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix and have scored only one podium finish in that time.

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