Mercedes warn McLaren relationship will change


11 February 2014 by Ryan Wood

Mercedes chairman Toto Wolff has warned McLaren that it can expect a different relationship once the season starts in Australia.

The Woking outfit will switch to Honda power next season in an exclusive deal with the Japanese manufacturer. This year however it will use Mercedes' new V6 power unit.

Whilst Mercedes' customers are working closely together during the pre-season to ensure the unit is "reliable and fast", Wolff says McLaren's position for 2015 means they'll be treated as a customer team with varying restrictions to ensure confidential information is kept out of Honda's hands.

"I think certainly them heading off to one of our competitors is not an ideal situation," the Austrian told Autosport.

"But in these early days of the season we have a short-term target which is common - in making the power unit reliable and performing.

"How that [relationship] is going to pan out during the season, that daily management of the relationship, could change obviously," he warned.

Mercedes have already begun limiting the information McLaren engineers receive and they're being kept away from power unit builds and inspections which are carried out by engineers at Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains.

"There is still a fair amount of knowledge that you can share on developing the power unit, but then there is a fair amount of knowledge that you wouldn't want to exchange anyway because they are switching to Honda."