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McLaren considering shock F1 engine deal with Red Bull

McLaren are currently running Mercedes units, but are said to be exploring options for the new rules set for 2026.

McLaren are said to be considering forming a Formula 1 alliance with Red Bull to use their power units from the 2026 season. As previously written by RacingNews365 and now by The Independent, McLaren CEO Zak Brown visited the Red Bull Powertrains facility in Milton Keynes earlier in February with initial talks over a supply being held. Red Bull's power units are currently supplied by Honda, but after the Japanese manufacturer decided to withdraw, Red Bull opted to form RBPT with the division set to be supported by Ford, who announced their comeback to F1 to as technical partner for the project. Honda currently have no teams lined up to supply in 2026 , although it is understood that Brown has held talks about the two reuniting - which would be nine years after they parted company. McLaren's current supply of Mercedes power units is set to run until the end of the 2025 season - the final one under this current generation of power unit rules.

McLaren 'exploring options'

During the launch of the MCL60 machine at the team's Woking base, Brown was asked about future plans, and whether he wanted the team to maintain 'customer' status or become a 'works' operation once again. "We're happy with Mercedes, we have some time to decide what we want to do in 2026 and beyond," he explained to media, including RacingNews365 . "It is something Andrea and I are in the process of slowly reviewing; we're not in a big rush, so we'll see how things pan out in the next year or so before we make a decision."

History between the two

During the cost cap saga throughout the second half of 2022, Brown wrote a letter to the FIA accusing any team that did break the cap would "constitute cheating" in his opinion . He did not single out Red Bull - the only team to go over the 2021 cap - but boss Christian Horner hit back at a tense United States Grand Prix press conference .

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