Mercedes conscious it will have to fight "hard competitor" McLaren in 2021

08-10-2019 17:01
by Nicolás Quarles van Ufford
General
Mercedes conscious it will have to fight hard competitor McLaren in 2021

Mercedes and its team principal Toto Wolff are conscious their future engine partners McLaren could challenge them for titles from 2021 onwards with their own engines, but the Austrian explains the positives of having an extra customer outweigh the negatives.

The two teams announced the comeback of their partnership, which has produced three championships in the past, last week, with McLaren starting its supply of engines to the Woking-based team from 2021 onwards. 

Even though McLaren will likely propel towards the front of the grid with the German engine in the back of the car, Wolff explains why it's still a good move from a Mercedes point of view to partner up.

"A new era is going to start in 2021 with compressed grids, with more competition, and we believe that from a PU side there is more learning for us in this exercise, with more competitive customers adding to the two that we have [Racing Point and Williams]," Wolff was quoted by Motorsport.com.

"The advantages outweigh the potential deficits of fighting a hard competitor like McLaren in the future. We learned it was an advantage having more power units out there.

"There is a financial upside, so it's a cashflow question which is helpful on the power unit side.

"Overall, many pros. There is one risk in this: that if McLaren does a good job, they will push hard, and maybe benchmark us in a way to say 'that's the same power unit, and you guys are not doing a good enough job'.

"But where we are now, seven years into the hybrid era, we are ready for that step."

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