McLaren will commit to switching from Renault to Mercedes power units for next season despite teams now having to run the same cars for two seasons.
The sport’s governing body, the FIA, announced last Thursday that the purposed 2021 regulation changes will be delayed until 2022 as a result of the “volatile financial situation created [by the coronavirus crisis], with potential freezing of further components to be discussed in due course”.
The rule changes have been made in wake of the postponement of the first seven rounds of the championship which has caused significant financial losses for all teams.
While the exact technical regulations for next year are yet to be fully confirmed, aerodynamics are expected to remain relatively free for development while other areas of the car are likely to be kept frozen to further keep costs down.
An engine switch with the same chassis should be relatively straightforward as F1 rules stipulate that the mounting points on the engine must be same for all four manufacturers.
Nonetheless, with the current season set to extend well into late 2020, time may become McLaren’s enemy as the team must redesign their rear package to accommodate the different design of the Mercedes power unit.
The return of McLaren-Mercedes will mark the first return of the marque since their incredible partnership between 1995 and 2014.