NOVEMBER 25, 2023

Toyota-McLaren rumours hit dead-end in Abu Dhabi

Rumours Toyota could return to Formula 1 with McLaren were wide of the mark.

Lando Norris, Las Vegas GP 2023
© McLaren

Recently, the Zak Brown-led team signed up a new development driver - Japanese Toyota sports car driver Ryo Hirakawa, who was flanked by Toyota racing officials for the announcement.

Hirakawa is trackside in Abu Dhabi this weekend. I want to see how far I can go in Formula 1, he told

However, McLaren's Toyota connection looks to have hit a roadblock. The Woking based team announced in Abu Dhabi that it will continue to be powered by customer Mercedes engines in Formula 1 until 2030.

The kind of reassurance we get from a technical point of view, the operational standards, when we checked what was at stake for 2026, it made this decision quite simple for us, said team boss Andrea Stella.

It's also good news for Mercedes, as another of its F1 customers - Aston Martin - is moving to works Honda power for 2026.

Working with strong customer teams has always been an important part of our motorsport strategy, Toto Wolff said when asked about the new McLaren deal.

It gives us a clear competitive benchmark, accelerates our technical learning process and strengthens the entire F1 business case for Mercedes-Benz, the Mercedes team boss and co-owner added.