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McLaren are considering a shock engine partnership with Red Bull.
McLaren chief executive Zak Brown is said to have visited Red Bull Powertrains – the engine division of the team which last season dominated Formula One – earlier this month to explore a potential deal.
A Red Bull spokesperson confirmed on Wednesday that Brown has been at their factory.
Red Bull’s engines are currently supplied by Honda, but the world champions will make their own power units from 2026 to coincide with a major overhaul of the sport’s regulations.
It was recently announced that American car marker Ford would also be involved in the Red Bull project, although primarily from an advertising perspective.
While talks between both McLaren, who are due to be powered by Mercedes for another three seasons, and Red Bull are at an early stage, Brown’s presence at Red Bull’s Milton Keynes headquarters was a surprise, given his strained relationship with rival boss Christian Horner following the cost-cap row which last year engulfed the sport.
Brown wrote a letter to FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem to suggest that a breach of the sport’s financial rules constituted “cheating”.