McLaren to switch from Honda to Renault engines from 2018

McLaren to switch from Honda to Renault engines from 2018

Toro Rosso will plug them in next season, handing their Renault supply to McLaren.

The team have endured three wretched seasons under Honda power, failing to record a single podium finish.

The last two and a half years have done severe damage to that reputation, however, with Alonso, Jenson Button and Stoffel Vandoorne lagging in midfield at best.

Former F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone has blamed McLaren for its failed partnership with Honda and said the team is unlikely to be any happier with Renault, ahead of an engine switch expected to be confirmed this week.

Red Bull have made no secret of their frustration with the French manufacturer over recent seasons, having seen their pre-Hybrid dominance of the sport transferred to Mercedes, and Ferrari overtaking them as the Silver Arrows' most meaningful rivals this year.

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Sainz is expected to switch from the Toro Rosso team to Renault in 2018, but could make the move sooner, which could finally give Frenchman Gasly, the 2016 GP2 Series champion and current Super Formula racer the opportunity to step up into Formula 1.

Honda's malaise was deepened in July when Sauber reneged on a deal to take their power units from 2018, instead striking a fresh agreement with Ferrari. Renault's main bargaining chip has been Toro Rosso driver Carlos Sainz, a driver the French manufacturer courted unsuccessfully for its factory team past year.

The engine swap is part of a complicated jigsaw puzzle which has been coming together in the weeks since the end of F1's summer break and is likely to signal a contract extension for Fernando Alonso at McLaren.

However, sources have told Sky Sports it is unlikely Sainz will replace under-pressure Jolyon Palmer, who has yet to score a point in 2017, this year.

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