Alonso to decide future after McLaren's Renault switch

Toro Rosso Honda Formula 1 deal announced for 2018

Toro Rosso Honda Formula 1 deal announced for 2018

"Honda will have a less prestigious partner than McLaren, but that allows him to stay in Formula 1:" Toro Rosso is an experienced team with the energy of youth and the habit of bringing forth the stars of the future, Takahiro Hachigo, President of Honda Motor Co.

McLaren will effectively swap engine suppliers with Toro Rosso for 2018, with the Red Bull junior team freeing up a supply of Renault engines by switching to Honda over the winter.

Furthermore, current Toro Rosso driver Carlos Sainz Jnr will join the Renault squad 'on loan' for next season as part of a complicated deal involving the two teams and engine manufacturers.

"Today's announcement gives us the stability we need to move ahead with our chassis and technical programme for 2018 without any further hesitation", said McLaren executive director Zak Brown. It will be the first time the two have joined forces in F1 despite both competing in the sport for decades.

Renault, meanwhile, signed Spanish driver Carlos Sainz Jr from Toro Rosso for next year.

McLaren and Honda announced in 2013 that they were reuniting for the Japanese firm's return to the sport from the 2015 season onwards.

Renault has also confirmed that Carlos Sainz will replace Briton Jolyon Palmer in the line-up of its works team alongside Nick Hulkenberg next year.

"I have a contract, I've got seven more races this year", Palmer, who has yet to score a point this season, told reporters. Even in the practice sessions we have lost time, and that puts you on the back foot for the weekend.

The Spaniard had reportedly lost patience with Honda's travails and had made it clear to McLaren that his decision on whether to extend his deal with the team would be contingent on it securing a new engine manufacturer. "It's a very exciting challenge and I hope that both parties will gain a great deal from it as we develop together", he added.

"We are happy to have reached an agreement for Carlos to drive for Renault Sport Formula One Team in 2018", said Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko. The terms of his new contract are believed to be similar to his existing package, just north of £20million annually.

The move was widely expected as the British team continued to struggle with Honda's engines, their partners throughout successes in the late 1980s and early 1990s, as it lies ninth on the 2017 Constructor Standings. "For us, the most important thing is to try and get ourselves into a competitive position between now and the end of these engine regulations (in 2020)".

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