McLaren has moved to quash recent speculation that it could look to drop its engine deal with Mercedes and instead jump into bed with Craig Pollock’s PURE engine concern when the new regulations come into play in 2014.
That the rumours first came about is hardly a surprise. PURE launched itself into the engine space with much fanfare last year, and news coming from its French headquarters has been few a far between.
Headed by former BAR team principal Craig Pollock, PURE is building a new V6 turbo engine designed for the 2014 regulations, and he’s scouting around for two customer teams to take on his powerplant.
But it doesn’t seem like McLaren is one of those customers.
“McLaren has had absolutely no contact with Pure for many months,” a team spokesman told the Reuters news agency.
“Moreover, the contact we did have with Pure, many months ago, was of an entirely informal nature, and was merely a courtesy gesture.”
McLaren, meanwhile, has bought back the shareholding in its operation that was originally held by Mercedes, which is a logical step to undertake when Mercedes elected to enter F1 with its own bespoke works team. But the challenge that Mercedes faces is that its works team is being beaten by a customer outfit, which doesn’t look good in Stuttgart…
It is therefore safe to assume that McLaren is on the hunt for a new engine partner, and why wouldn’t they be?
Despite reports confirming that its road car division was looking to get its own engine department going, that investment won’t extend to an F1 programme, so that leaves it to scout out for other engine partners, preferably via a supply deal that they won’t have to pay for (as is currently the case with Mercedes).
As we previously reported, Honda is possibly refloating the idea of yet another return to the sport, while rumours have returned once again that Volkswagen is again reconsidering getting a foothold in Formula 1.
[Image via The Cahier Archive]