Sainz sees return of McLaren-Mercedes 'another good step' towards recovery

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Carlos Sainz sees McLaren reuniting with Mercedes as "another good step" in their goal of winning again in Formula 1.

Back in Sochi, it was rumoured then confirmed that one of the most famous partnerships in modern history would return in 2021, following their successful two decades together between 1995-2014.

Yet the news was still quite a surprise given how McLaren has made big gains this year using Renault engines in a collaboration which itself only formed at the start of last season.

Obviously it’s a deal for the future," Sainz commented in Suzuka. "At the moment we are focused on our relationship with Renault, which honestly has helped us a lot.

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“[We’ve had] to realize our own problems and to realize where we need to work the most, thanks to last year’s competitiveness with Renault and Red Bull we could judge our package better.

“Also thanks to the progress Renault has done on this year’s power unit we are actually scoring a lot of points.

“[But] the Mercedes deal is part of the plan to our road to recovery, let’s put it like that," the Spaniard added, "And hopefully that will also give us another good step.”

Since the announcement, it has emerged Renault wished to form a closer partnership along similar lines to Haas and Ferrari likely triggering McLaren decision to split.

And for Mercedes, there are benefits too in supplying a third team, plus their works outfit, although motorsport boss Toto Wolff denies political power is one of them.

"It’s clear that when the discussion is about power units, our customers will listen to what our opinion is, but I haven’t seen any power unit customer that was dealing on eye level with the supplier to having their hand tweaked when it comes to chassis regulations," the Austrian told

"I can clearly say that I’m not expecting McLaren, nor do I expect Racing Point or Williams to ever decide against what their priorities are.

"The rationale for the deal was not an influence but the rationale for the deal was a commercial background to increase our earnings at HPP and benefit from the learning of running the engines in four different teams."