McLaren CEO Zak Brown has visited Red Bull Powertrains in Milton Keynes for preliminary talks regarding a possible partnership for the 2026 engine regulations. These new regulations will see the elimination of the expensive MGU-H and an increase in electrical assistance to 50%. McLaren has been a Mercedes engine customer since 2021, but rumours have circulated that the team could explore a partnership with Honda if the Japanese firm commits to an F1 return. While Red Bull team principal Christian Horner confirmed the meeting, he emphasised that supplying customer teams isn’t profitable and Red Bull Powertrains would struggle to make a profit without further investment.
Despite this, Horner welcomed Brown to the facility, saying, “I thought he was coming for lunch!” McLaren team principal Andrea Stella has also discussed the potential partnership, emphasising that the team is content with its current partnership with Mercedes, but it is natural for them to consider other options, stating, “At the same time, it is obviously that looking further forward, you want to understand what’s available.” Brown also commented that he and Stella were reviewing the engine supply deal, but that they weren’t in a rush to make a decision. The MCL60 was launched at the McLaren Technology Centre last month, with Brown saying the team is “very happy with Mercedes”.