McLaren sure of Mercedes equality, say Ferrari deal wasn't an option

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McLaren CEO Zak Brown believes the team will be able to compete against Mercedes when they become customers again in 2021.

This past weekend saw rumours followed by an announcement of their reunification, just seven years after ending their highly successful partnership which ran between 1995-2014.

However, when that split took place, one of the views aired by then CEO Ron Dennis was that a customer team could no longer win in F1 given the power of the manufacturers.

“I’m very confident that Mercedes supplies [every team equally],” Brown was quoted by PlanetF1.

“You can look at the telemetry, it’s clear that’s what in the Mercedes works cars is the same in the Williams and Racing Point cars."

As a result: “If we do a very good job with our team, execute, our drivers do a good job then I think we can [compete with them]," he added.

“But I think you’re going to have to be on your A game.”

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While of course, the McLaren-Mercedes partnership does have history, some may question the timing as Ferrari emerges as the lead engine supplier in F1.

"I think in Formula 1 you have to look at a longer period of time other than a handful of races,” Brown told Crash.net

“Obviously the Ferrari engine looks extremely strong at the moment but when you look at the commitment of Mercedes-Benz and where they have been - also as a race team - it’s a great yardstick for us."

Also the American noted how a McLaren-Ferrari partnership wouldn't work for commercial reasons.

"We’ve not considered Ferrari," he stated.

“I think it’s also a clear brand clash with our McLaren road car business and from just making engines just fiscally it’s nothing that makes sense for us.

“I think you need to be a significantly larger OEM that can warrant the spend to justify all the exposure that it generates for a larger volume of car sales, which clearly does make sense for a Mercedes, a Renault, a Honda but doesn’t make sense for a McLaren given the volume of cars we sell.”

Currently, there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding F1 in 2021 and whether the new regulations could lead to some manufacturers either pulling out or scaling down their presence.

Asked whether that played a role in McLaren's decision to change, Brown explained: “No. Renault, in everything they have indicated, is very committed to the sport.

“And given our relationship in the past with Mercedes, we do know how committed they are to the sport.

“A lot of people inside McLaren worked with Mercedes back when we were last together and we know a lot of people over in Brixworth, so I think we are very comfortable with the commitment Mercedes has to the sport on a long-term basis.”

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