Renault admit wanting to make McLaren similar to a 'B-team' from 2021

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Renault has admitted they proposed to adopt a 'B-team' type model with McLaren from 2021.

In Sochi, it was rumoured then confirmed the British team will return to Mercedes engines after next season, ending their association with the French manufacturer after just three years.

Last week, team boss Cyril Abiteboul indicated he wasn't too worried about their split suggesting being the only Renault-powered team could be advantageous.

Now though he concedes some disappointment.

“I think that we would have been stronger together, on the basis of our approach to the partnership,” he said via PlanetF1.

“Without that, we’re weaker than we could have been, so in my opinion, it’s a lost opportunity, but it’s not like it’s something that’s putting us in a massively different position from the position in which we are today."

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It was then though the Renault chief let the cat out of the bag.

“I accept that what we were proposing to McLaren was maybe a bit unusual, not necessarily unusual, but trying to be a bit more open-minded about the way teams can co-operate," he commented.

"We’ve got the fantastic model of Haas and Ferrari, it was just a different model of collaboration between two teams.

“So a lost opportunity, but we also know what we have to do, and we are completely geared up to being capable of working as a standalone team on all aspects.”

Of course, any arrangement that would have seen McLaren's competitiveness be limited would be an absolute no-no, so it's no surprise they quickly scampered back to Mercedes.

That isn't stopping team boss Andreas Seidl from tapping the potential of their reunification though.

"Mercedes as a team, with this power unit, is clearly the benchmark in F1 nowadays," he claimed.

"The best thing is to have the same powertrain as the best team in the paddock at the moment, then there's nowhere to hide for us.

"With the regulations staying the same on the power unit side, there is convergence between the manufacturers," the German noted.

"We see already they are all quite close together, which is good for us as an independent team, not having our own engine.

"But I think with everything Mercedes has shown in the last five or six years, in terms of commitment, in terms of quality, reliability, we are convinced it's definitely the right way to go for us from 2021 onwards."