Team Principal Behind 17 Titles Predicted Major Customer Team Trend Linking Red Bull, Ferrari & Mercedes Dominance

In his active years, the former McLaren boss, Ron Dennis, won multiple championship titles with McLaren. But the Englishman believed a customer F1 team couldn’t win championships against factory teams, like Mercedes and Ferrari in the Turbo Hybrid Era.

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The English F1 team is one of the most legendary teams, having a lot of history and success in the sport. However, McLaren has never been a factory team and has always relied on other manufacturers for power units. They currently get their engines from Mercedes, the F1 team that has dominated the hybrid era.

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Why are factory F1 teams more dominating?

In 2014, Ron Dennis expressed that customer teams will not be able to compete against factory teams. The former McLaren CEO said to Autosport, “My opinion, and it is an opinion held by many people within our organization, is that you have no chance of winning the world championship if you are not receiving the best engines from whoever is manufacturing your engines.,

It seems the former McLaren CEO was right. In 2021, Mercedes was fighting for the championship, while McLaren could only fight for the third place. The factory F1 team has direct access to the engines, giving them an edge over the customer teams.

Formula One F1 – Portuguese Grand Prix – Algarve International Circuit, Portimao, Portugal – October 25, 2020 Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas and McLaren’s Carlos Sainz Jr. in action during the race Pool via REUTERS/Jorge Guerrero

Dennis reported, “Even though you have the same brand of engine, that does not mean you have the ability to optimize the engine.,

The factory teams look stronger compared to customer teams in the 2022 season as well. This time around, the Ferrari power units seem the strongest, as they are doing quite well in the title fight. Meanwhile, Ferrari’s customer teams are also doing great, but they can’t compete against the Maranello-based team.

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Further, Mercedes is underperforming significantly. So, it would be hard to imagine their customer teams outperforming them. Even the Red Bull looks more dominating this season, using Red Bull Power Train. However, they are just the rebranded Honda engines that Red Bull and AlphaTauri use.

What’s next for McLaren as a customer team?

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McLaren F1’s current deal with Mercedes is up to 2024. However, the English F1 team is already looking for a potential replacement in other German manufacturers. There are speculations that the Volkswagen Group will enter the sport in 2026 with its subsidiaries, Audi and Porsche.

There are a lot of talks surrounding a partnership between McLaren and Audi. However, the present McLaren boss Zak Brown recently rejected an Audi deal as the German manufacturers were planning to buy the English team.

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According to The Race, Brown doesn’t want to sell his team, but he’s still open to accepting Audi as an engine supplier. Let’s see if McLaren finds a suitable engine supplier.

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