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McLaren deal with Honda not exclusive

NEWS STORY
16/05/2013

McLaren MD Jonathan Neale has revealed that his team's engine partnership with Honda for 2015 is not exclusive and that other teams might use powerplants supplied by the Japanese manufacturer.

"All manufacturers and engine suppliers coming into Formula One know that they do so with an expectation that, should they be required, they are prepared to supply more than one team," he told reporters in the wake of this morning's announcement in Japan.

"At the moment we are the only team working with Honda and we've got no illusions about how much work we have to do to be ready for a 2015 season," he added.

Referring to the relationship with his team’s current engine partner, which sold its stake in the Woking outfit before going on to creating its own F1 team, and which some believe is going to become awkward in 2014 as McLaren prepares for its new partnership with Honda, Neale said: "Our relationship with Mercedes spans two decades, we are very careful about protecting each other's intellectual property. We've given the undertakings to Mercedes.

"They've been respectful about giving us all the information that we need but not giving us more than we absolutely need to get the job done. Certainly there will be no poaching or dismantling of parts."

As Honda returns to F1, albeit as engine supplier only, having left the sport at the end of 2008, he said: "We've maintained contact with Honda over many years. We have the heritage collection here and we support them in the running and parts for their heritage collection.

"A few senior players started a speculative discussion but those conversations have really only materialised in today's announcement in a matter of months," he added.

"Mercedes have clearly focused their efforts around Brackley and that's completely understandable," he added. "If we are going to be compete at the upper echelons, then we need to be punching at that weight. Getting together with a powerhouse like Honda enables us to punch at that weight."

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