Will McLaren give Honda more time to make it work or has it already lined-up a replacement for 2018, or sooner? Plenty of solutions have been tabled – possibly customer Mercedes, Renault or Ferrari units, perhaps even a tie-up with Alfa Romeo – but keeping one of its greatest assets, Fernando Alonso, is a key part of the decision that the team will have to make sooner rather than later.
Over the course of more than 50 years, McLaren has amassed 182 Grand Prix wins, 155 pole positions and 153 fastest laps, as well as 12 Drivers’ titles and eight Constructors’ crowns – all coming with just four different engine manufacturers: Ford (in two stints), TAG-Porsche, Honda and Mercedes.
However, its cars have also run with other makes’ motivation in races and tests – all without success. These are the five engines that you wouldn’t immediately, if at all, associate with McLaren.
Bruce McLaren’s eponymous team made its debut at Monaco in 1966, the boss running an M2B with a Ford Indycar-based V8 engine. The Kiwi was not enamoured with it so opted to try a 3-litre V8 sportscar engine built by Count Giovanni Volpi di Misurata under the Serenissima banner. With F1 adopting the 3-litre formula for that season, the unit was suitable for F1 and duly fitted to the M2B for the next race, in Belgium. Bearing failure meant Bruce failed to start, but he did race it at Brands Hatch in the British GP, finishing sixth in what would be its only start. After withdrawing from the Dutch GP that year, McLaren reverted to the Ford, taking P5 in the US GP at the end of the year. And that was the end of the short-lived McLaren-Serenissima project.