McLaren are expected to officially confirm the switch from Honda to Renault engines this weekend at the Singapore Grand Prix after three ill-fated years without a podium finish with Honda power.
The new McLaren-Renault partnership is expected to convince two-time world champion, Fernando Alonso, to stay on for the 2018 season. Alonso had publicly stated his uncertainty at remaining with the team if nothing was done about the Honda engine.
Honda remains in Formula one as they will now supply Toro Rosso. Carlos Sainz is widely expected to move on loan to Renault as part of an agreement that allowed Renault partner with McLaren but it still looks unlikely that he will be replacing under-fire British driver, Jolyon Palmer, who has failed to record a single point in the 2017 season.
McLaren chiefs have repeatedly said they believe their car is one of the best in terms of chassis design and that they would be scoring podium finishes if they had an engine like Renault’s, also used by Red Bull this season. That thought is completely theoretical at the moment but 2018 will be their chance to prove their claims.
While the McLaren-Renault deal is expected to be for an initial period of three years, Fernando Alonso will be looking out for just a year’s extension as there are expected to be major vacancies at Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull at the end of next season.