Formula 1: McLaren to switch back to Mercedes engines for 2021 and beyond

MONTE CARLO, MONACO - MAY 21: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and McLaren Mercedes drives during practice for the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix at the Monte Carlo Circuit on May 21, 2008 in Monte Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
MONTE CARLO, MONACO - MAY 21: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and McLaren Mercedes drives during practice for the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix at the Monte Carlo Circuit on May 21, 2008 in Monte Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images) /

McLaren have announced that they will be switching back to Mercedes engines from Renault engines beginning in the 2021 Formula 1 season.

McLaren spent 20 seasons using Mercedes engines from 1995 to 2014, and these 20 seasons produced great success for the Woking-based Formula 1 team.

In total, they earned 78 Grand Prix victories in these 20 seasons, and they also collected four championships: three drivers championships and one constructor championship.

Mika Hakkinen won two driver championships in the 1998 and 1999 seasons while Lewis Hamilton won the other in the 2008 season while the team won the constructor championship in the 1998 season.

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After the 2014 season, they switched to Honda engines. They previously had even more success with Honda before using Mercedes engines, with 44 victories, four driver championships and four constructor championships in a five-year span.

But after a second stint with Honda that lasted three seasons, they switched to Renault engines. Now, after what will be three seasons with Renault next year,  McLaren are set to switch back to Mercedes engines for the 2021 season and beyond.

From the 2021 season through at least the 2024 season, McLaren will be powered by Mercedes for the first time since 2014.

Here is what McLaren CEO Zak Brown had to say about the matter, according to McLaren.

"“This agreement is an important step in our long-term plan to return to success in Formula 1. Mercedes is the benchmark, both as a team and a power unit, so it is natural we would seek to secure a relationship with the company for the next phase of our journey.“This announcement reflects the confidence of our shareholders and is an important message to our investors, our team, partners and fans that we are committed to returning McLaren to the front of the field.”"

Team principal Andreas Seidl added the following.

"“2021 will be an important milestone for us as we continue our fight back to the front, so it is vital that we have the key elements in place now to enable us to prepare for the new era of the sport.“We look forward to renewing our Mercedes relationship from 2021 onwards. At the same time Renault remains both a valued partner as well as a formidable competitor, and we will be focused on continuing our collaboration through the rest of this season and next.”"

Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains managing director Andy Cowell also commented about the matter.

"“Since the introduction of the hybrid regulations in 2014, it has been a cornerstone of our strategic approach to lead PU development with our works team and to deliver a benchmark product to our customer teams across the field.“We are therefore delighted to expand our roster of partner teams and especially with an historic brand like McLaren. There is a shared history between the two organisations; and we look forward to achieving success together again in the future.”"

Finally, here is what Mercedes-Benz Motorsport head Toto Wolff had to add.

"“We are delighted to welcome McLaren back to the Mercedes-Benz racing family with this new power unit supply agreement. Although the two brands share a prestigious history, this new agreement is all about looking to the future and beginning a new era of power unit supply for the years ahead.“McLaren have been putting in place the building blocks of their revival over recent seasons, including impressive performances this season with Renault power. We hope that this new long-term agreement marks another milestone for McLaren as they aim to take the fight to the sport’s top teams, including our Mercedes works team."

This news comes just hours after a rumor emerged that this partnership could be in the works for the 2021 season, as McLaren’s deal with Renault ends at the end of the 2020 season. The loss of McLaren as a customer team means that Renault are not slated to have any customer teams in the 2021 season.

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This news also comes despite the fact that Article 8.3 of Formula 1‘s Sporting Regulations states that a “major car manufacturer may not directly or indirectly supply engines for more than three teams of two cars each without the consent of the FIA.” Mercedes also supply engines to SportPesa Racing Point and ROKiT Williams Racing, and they have long-term deals to do so.