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2011-11-24 07:18

WIN IN THE DESERT: McLaren's Lewis Hamilton after winning the 2011 F1 GP at the Yas Marina in Abu Dhabi. Image: AFP


SAO PAULO, Brazil - McLaren has calmed talk of a switch to Honda F1 engines beyond 2012 by saying the team is focused on continuing with Mercedes.

German magazine Auto Motor und Sport reported that McLaren was considering the revival of its former partnership with Honda, which pulled out of F1 at the end of 2008, once the deal for free Mercedes engines expired.


It quoted an unnamed senior Honda manager in Suzuka as saying everything was technically ready for the company to become an engine provider again but management had not approved anything.

"That's all wide of the mark," McLaren MD Jonathan Neale told reporters ahead of Sunday's season-ending Brazilian F1 GP when asked about the speculation. "We are very happy with Mercedes. We are not sure where that story came from but I can stop the rumour and say we are entirely focused on our Mercedes relationship.

“It's a long one with many wins and championships and long may it continue."

Mercedes sold its stake in McLaren after buying the 2009 championship-winning Brawn team and renaming it Mercedes GP. It has yet to win a race.

The deal allowed McLaren free engines until the end of 2012 and then a supply until at least 2015 at the going rate of around eight-million euros a year.

Mercedes also supplies engines to Force India.

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