Toro Rosso has become the latest team to be linked to a switch to Honda power in 2018. This is the most recent twist in a story that has dominated headlines in recent weeks regarding Honda's future in Formula 1, with a divorce between McLaren and the engine supplier looking probable and the Sauber-Honda deal in doubt.
"Red Bull's B team has grown up and could go its own way with Honda," said Michael Schmidt of Auto Motor und Sport. "A decision is due in the summer." Stories about Honda have been floating around the F1 paddock all weekend in Silverstone, with McLaren officials reportedly being spotted in talks with Renault and the Woking-based team apparently assuring Fernando Alonso that if he signs for the team in 2018 that there will be a top engine in the car over dinner.
"We had a nice dinner and Fernando even picked up the bill," said McLaren's Zak Brown. "He feels comfortable with us and we understand each other well. He made it very clear that he wants to be in formula one next year."
"On a personal level the relationship with Honda is good," said Brown. "But I think everyone understands that we need a much better engine, and that's why all this is going on." Whatever the outcome, it appears to be clear that McLaren may split with Honda in order to keep Alonso at the team next season.