McLaren dump Honda for Renault and are set to retain Fernando Alonso

McLaren dump Honda for Renault and are set to retain Fernando Alonso”

That is despite the fact it is believed McLaren will imminently confirm its split with the Japanese engine supplier, after three years of struggle.

In a joint statement, McLaren and Renault said: "McLaren Renault is a partnership that will challenge for victory".

This comes as part of a series of announcements centred on Honda ending its supply deal with McLaren, which also includes Carlos Sainz Jr moving from Toro Rosso to drive for Renault next year.

"Scuderia Toro Rosso is pleased to announce that it has reached a multi-year agreement with Honda Motor Co".

"I can not comment at this time".

"McLaren is an inspirational team with two talented drivers which should not only support our engine development efforts but also act as a reference and an example in the ongoing construction of our chassis operations", said Abiteboul.

Renault themselves have ended their deal to supply Toro Rosso and will instead focus their energies on McLaren next year.

The sum of it all is that McLaren, powered by a Renault engine, the least powerful and reliable after Honda, must aim for podiums and race wins in 2018 at a minimum, if not simply for money or pride then certainly for Alonso, who has made himself a key motivator in McLaren's dismissal of Honda.

"I want to give time to my team to make decisions, to see the future, to see next year's vehicle, after they take a decision I will take mine, I want to stay loyal".

The news is a blow to Red Bull, who could be forced to switch to Honda power as previous attempts to secure the use of a Mercedes or Ferrari engine have failed.

"I hope that he has got a vehicle to fight with us next year, I think that only adds to the spectacle and the challenge", said Hamilton.

"There have been suggestions for the past 35 races that I might not be at the next one, or in the next few, so this is nothing new for me".

To further muddy the waters, there have been reports circulating that Porsche is looking to buy the Red Bull team in time for the 2021 season when it would enter with its own engine.

However, a move to Honda could come at a cost as it could lead to Red Bull drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen pondering their futures.

The Spaniard has finished no higher than 10th in the overall standings in that time.

"There are many options out there but F1 is my first and only priority".

Alonso made it clear he aims to stay in F1 but only in a competitive vehicle.

According to the Mail, the terms of Alonso's new contract are in line with his current deal, which sees him earn just over £20m a year.

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