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McLaren would consider making own F1 engine depending on 2021 regs

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McLaren would consider making its own Formula 1 engine should the new technical regulations set to come into force for 2021 prove attractive and cost-effective enough.

McLaren is currently nearing the end of a long-running saga surrounding its power unit supply for 2018, with a complex web involving a number of parties looking set to be unraveled by switching from Honda to Renault engines next season.

Any deal is set to be agreed for three years, with the existing engine cycle using V6 turbo power units set to come to an end at the close of the 2020 season.

Talks regarding F1’s future engine regulations are ongoing between a number of parties both inside and outside of the sport, with areas of focus including cost reduction and greater simplicity.

Should the new regulations fit the bill, McLaren would consider becoming a full works F1 operation and developing its own engine in-house.

“We’re interested to see what the new engine formula is in 2021, whether we’d consider doing our own engine, whether other people would come in under new rules,” McLaren executive director Zak Brown told media at Monza, as quoted by Crash.net.

“I think right now we’ve got to focus on the next three years. As soon as we get that figured out, we’ve got to look out.

“For us to do our own engine, that’s not something we’ve done before, so that would require good lead time and some expenditure that we would consider doing.

“We just need to have an understanding of the path forward, what are the rules and what are they going to cost. We certainly wouldn’t be in a position to spend the hundreds of millions that it takes now to develop engines.

“So they’re going to have to change the engine formula for it to be something that is economically viable for us.”

Pirelli reveals new super-hard, hyper-soft F1 tires in Abu Dhabi

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Pirelli has confirmed it will add two new tires to its range for the 2018 Formula 1 season, launching the ‘super-hard’ and ‘hyper-soft’ compounds in Abu Dhabi on Thursday.

Pirelli currently makes three of its five dry compounds available to teams for each race weekend, and despite varying selections across the course of the season has struggled to offer much in terms of strategy options, with one-stop races being the norm.

The hope is that the addition of two new tire compounds and a re-alignment of their durability will offer teams more choices in races.

Pirelli confirmed plans to introduce a new softest tire below the current ultra-soft earlier this month, inviting fans to pick a name.

The pink-colored compound will be known as the ‘hyper-soft’ from next year, with the arrival of a new ‘super-hard’ (colored ‘ice blue’) also being confirmed at a launch event in Abu Dhabi on Thursday.

“Compared to this year, when the tires grew by 25% to fit a brand-new generation of cars, the changes for next year are less far-reaching,” Pirelli head of car racing Mario Isola said.

“However, we’re pleased to present some important innovations with softer and faster compounds across the range: including the new hypersoft.

“We realized that, under the unique circumstances of this year, some of our 2017 compounds were perhaps conservative: the tires we have created for 2018 addresses this, in line with the objective of having around two pit stops at most races.

“However, the fundamental design concept of the tires hasn’t changed next year, preserving the attributes that all drivers have appreciated this year and allowing them to push hard from the start to the finish of each stint.

“The new range consists of faster tires that should lead to even harder and more spectacular racing in 2018.”

Besides the seven dry compounds made available, there will be the two rain tires – wet and intermediate – taking it to a total of nine for the 2018 season.