May 7 (GMM/Inautonews.com) McLaren has played down reports team supremo Ron Dennis is furious about a new engine rule in formula one.

We reported this week that Dennis vowed to sue the FIA if it enforces the new regulation where manufacturers may be compelled to supply customer engines.

“You will never get an engine from Honda,” Dennis, indicating his intention to enforce a contractual veto in McLaren’s Honda deal, is quoted as having told Red Bull boss Christian Horner at a recent strategy group meeting.

“Rather, I would sue the FIA over the new rule,” Dennis reportedly said, according to Auto Motor und Sport.

It has also been rumoured that while Honda may be prepared to begin supplying customers next year, Dennis wants McLaren’s deal to remain exclusive.

A McLaren spokesman told us: “We have been and remain part of a healthy debate around the issues of power unit convergence and sport stability.

“As we are still in dialogue it would be unhelpful to that ongoing debate to focus on areas in which agreement has not yet been achieved, and to express those differences of approach in the media.

“Specifically, however, we confirm that we are absolutely supportive of Honda, and supported by Honda, in all such discussions,” he added.


May 7 (GMM/Inautonews.com) McLaren has played down reports team supremo Ron Dennis is furious about a new engine rule in formula one.

We reported this week that Dennis vowed to sue the FIA if it enforces the new regulation where manufacturers may be compelled to supply customer engines.

“You will never get an engine from Honda,” Dennis, indicating his intention to enforce a contractual veto in McLaren’s Honda deal, is quoted as having told Red Bull boss Christian Horner at a recent strategy group meeting.

“Rather, I would sue the FIA over the new rule,” Dennis reportedly said, according to Auto Motor und Sport.

It has also been rumoured that while Honda may be prepared to begin supplying customers next year, Dennis wants McLaren’s deal to remain exclusive.

A McLaren spokesman told us: “We have been and remain part of a healthy debate around the issues of power unit convergence and sport stability.

“As we are still in dialogue it would be unhelpful to that ongoing debate to focus on areas in which agreement has not yet been achieved, and to express those differences of approach in the media.

“Specifically, however, we confirm that we are absolutely supportive of Honda, and supported by Honda, in all such discussions,” he added.

  • ozbizbozzle

    Mclaren have taken a massive hit, introducing Honda engines. Only right they should have some time for exclusive use.

    • Vulcanproject

      One could argue they will have had two years exclusive use. I agree they have exclusively taken the pain for the immature Honda power units, that also was their choice- Honda were already willing to supply and develop the engine with another team for this season before Mclaren blocked it.

      It seems a perfectly reasonable rule for an engine supplier to be made to supply more than one team. Everyone else does it with no problems.

      • Cassandra

        A contract is a contract. McLaren and Honda both agreed at the start of their contractual relationship that McLaren have the right to veto provision of Honda engines to ANY third party. The FIA cannot force the team to break that. This is all about Red Bull and Renault’s impending divorce.

        • Kyle Lyles

          The contract is between two companies. The overriding rules are FIA, the original contract has no legal standing over the FIA. If the two companies do not comply, both or one will have to leave F1.

          • Vomkrieg

            True, but McLaren has the power here with that contract. The FIA can say “no honda engines if they wont supply another team” but McLaren can then go “ok, no Honda engines then” and block Honda from F1.

            Then what has the FIA achieved. McClaren would likely get a merc engine as they have a very good business relationship with Mercedes and still be racing.

            McClaren would like take a step backwards again, but the FIA would lose Honda and still not get their desired outcome. And I don’t think they can legally exclude McLaren for doing that, not without making some specific and easily challenge-able rules change that McClaren could take to court for targeting them.

            If McLaren are smart though, they will let Honda supply engines to someone, someone who can help test them and improve them, while not necessarily being a major threat. Sauber would be my pick if they are still around.

        • Vulcanproject

          It’s actually more about a formula which has a very limited number of engine suppliers, and the health of the sport. The Red Bull/Renault wrangles are only a symptom.

          Previously with the V8s there was BMW, Renault, Honda, Mercedes, Ferrari, Cosworth and Toyota engines.

          In 2014 with the advent of the new V6 units there was Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault. Honda joined in 2015.

          You could argue that the cost of the new units and complexity reduced the number of suppliers and that was the FIA’s fault for the rules, however at the time ALL teams agreed to the changes and had quite a hand in them.

          Because of the reduced number of suppliers and the politics in the sport, the FIA appear to want to force the existing engine manufacturers to have enough to supply the whole grid whoever that may be. It only seems fair. The same manufacturers that voted for this and caused the reduction in options have to be told that they can’t just kill certain other teams for want of engine options at their whim.

          It’s better for the sport this way, one of the more sensible potential rules IMO….

      • Jez

        I remember Ferrari and Mercedes refusing to supply Redbull…

      • ozbizbozzle

        The same engine or last years model.

    • wb

      Man, if they had known what was coming their way, they would have never done it …
      McLaren should stop acting like a prima donna … rules are for everyone, period.

  • Michael Ryan

    Actually, contrary to what a lot of people here seem to think a ‘regulation’ introduced by a governing body does not, ipso facto, take legal precedence over an existing contract between two consenting parties. McLaren would, in fact, in law, have a good case against the FIA if they, the FIA, sought to impose their ‘regulation’ and thereby, perforce, negate an existing contract.

  • Dominic Feltoe

    That final quote certainly sounds like Ron Dennis-approved gobbledygook.

  • Rodger JOHN

    Ron needs to be careful with what he wishes for. Honda have a habit of quitting when the going gets tough, so he could be begging with another manufacturer to give him a supply contract.