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McLaren downplay Honda link

McLaren downplay reports suggesting a possible tie-up with Honda from 2014

McLaren has played down reports that it could be looking to renew its partnership with Honda from the 2014 F1 season.

A report in the German publication Auto Motor und Sport had suggested that the British team was looking at entering into a relationship with the Japanese manufacturer when F1's new engine regulations come into play.

The suggestion was that such a deal would increase McLaren's hopes of success, rather than if it were to continue its current agreement with Mercedes - where the team is effectively a customer of a manufacturer with its own F1 outfit.

However, speaking in a Vodafone McLaren Mercedes phone-in, McLaren managing director Jonathan Neale played down the link to Honda and said there were no concerns about the relationship with Mercedes in the coming seasons.

"That's all wide of the mark," he replied in answer to a question posed by ESPNF1. "We are wedded to, very happy with and enjoying our partnership with Mercedes-Benz. We're not quite sure how or where that broke from in truth, but I can stop the rumours and say we are entirely focused on the Mercedes-Benz relationship.

"We've had a long standing relationship with them, with many wins and championships and long may that continue.

"Of course, Mercedes have their own GP team and it's right and proper that a degree of focus is going to go in that direction, but I was just talking this morning with Thomas Fuhr at Mercedes-Benz - we speak frequently - and we want the same things. It's in our interest to have consistent engines together because that's how we get the highest quality."

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