On Saturday, McLaren announced that they have reached an agreement to return to Mercedes power starting in the 2021 Formula One season. See, McLaren struggled when they left Mercedes in 2014. That was their first year with Honda which ended in 2018 following five years of frustration. It was an ugly split.
McLaren went from one of the best teams in the sport to irrelevant with Honda. For 2019, they moved to Renault power which has helped propel them back to relevancy again. But, they’re still not contending for wins. Yes, they’re the fourth best team now, but still have a gap between themselves and Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull Racing.
So, this move for 2021 and beyond helps shorten that gap. It also sparks rumors for their NTT IndyCar Series involvement.
McLaren Racing will team with Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports for the 2020 Indy Car season. They’ll run Chevrolet power. But, coincidentally enough, 2021 is when the new Indy Car engine regulations take place too.
IndyCar is searching for a third engine provider and 2021 would be the best time for a new one to come in. Would Mercedes be interested?
They have an IndyCar past in winning the 1994 Indy 500 with Team Penske. A McLaren/Mercedes relationship here in the United States would make a ton of sense too.