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#F1 : Why McLaren Should Buy P.U.R.E

by on December 11, 2012
McLarenf1For some, the term “F1 Fan” is quite  civilian.  A good friend of mine, by the name of Bruce McKnight can, for all intents and purposes, be considered an F1 Hooligan.  For him, and his brother Greg, Formula One is more than a sport or pass time.  It is an excuse to exercise political battle and heavy discussion over several beverages in the company of good friends and family.  Bruce and I came to know each other professionally and our love of Motorsport and F1 brought us together as friends.  We have had some interesting experiences traveling to GPs that involved border patrol police and long detainment and interrogation.  All I can say is, beware of renting camper-vans and trying to cross borders equipped with drug sniffing dogs…. I wanted to share this with you so you got a sense of our passion for the sport and to introduce you all to my friend Bruce and his first ever F1 blog post.
I have posted this guest article on behalf of Bruce.  Please, have a read, enjoy, comment and share.
Why McLaren Should Buy P.U.R.E
One of the great unanswered questions for 2014 is: who will engine-supply McLaren? The relationship between McLaren and Mercedes built steadily over the 18 years they have been together but seems to have peaked at, or shortly after, Mercedes acquired the Brawn team to become the works team. Since then, there has been active rumors around the paddock that Mercedes would not supply McLaren after 2014. At the very least, there has been no confirmation that McLaren will be Merc-powered after 2013.
Cast your mind back to 1992 when Honda exited the relationship with McLaren and the sport. McLaren first attempted a deal (which fell apart) with then-dominant Renault, then ended up with Ford, which required Senna to drive the car well beyond its capabilities but still lost both titles to the Renault-powered Williams. They flirted with a Lamborghini V12 (how cool would McLaren Lamborghini have been!) and used Peugeot for  a season before a Mercedes deal was finally inked. It took another year before McLaren won a race: all told three seasons of turmoil!
Looking at the current landscape, without a Mercedes extension, McLaren could find itself in a similar jam. Renault is unlikely to supply them, which leaves Ferrari. For the very obvious reasons you will never see a Ferrari-powered McLaren. Cosworth is well beneath McLaren pedigree and very likely exiting the sport this year.
McLaren could coax an external manufacturer (back) into the sport (think VW, Honda, Toyota) but they would have to start from zero when other teams like Ferrari and Mercedes have 2014 units on the test bench.
That leaves P.U.R.E.
Craig Pollock’s most recent failure could be a boon for McLaren for various reasons. From an economic perspective it’s like they could pick up the pieces of P.U.R.E. for “pennies”. From a technology perspective Pollock had, in June, stated that he expected a P.U.R.E. engine on the test bench in July/August: it was around that time that the enterprise folded. It would seem that they were pretty far along the development  path prior to collapse and that would certainly be more beneficial than starting from scratch.
From a commercial and strategic position McLaren would do well to take its own engine supply in-house to avoid the turmoil of new “experimental” partnerships. Also being a builder of super-cars, it would also mean the possibility of direct transportation of a F1-derived power plant into a McLaren road car. Although P.U.R.E.’ s technology center is based in Germany, acquisition by a British company makes it British. It could no-doubt be subsequently relocated if need be. Some British pride for a British-built/powered car would certainly help all McLaren’s aspirations. It would also allow Mercedes to develop “B-teams” the way Ferraris is with Sauber and Mercedes is with (McLaren for one but..) the likes of Force India.
Any of the top teams could benefit from a P.U.R.E acquisition but none as much as McLaren. Red Bull need not mess with a winning formula. Ferrari and Mercedes are their own suppliers. Lotus has its roots in Renault and is unlikely to change plus, like the rest of the grid, is unlikely to have the money or the sophistication to run an engine shop.
2014 will be a level playing field for all engine-builders with  a new slate of rules and McLaren, even late to the party could benefit from the chaos and emerge a strong third force on all levels. But they need to move quickly!
Ernie Black c/o Mr. Bruce McKnight
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From → Features, Formula One

One Comment
  1. Very well thought out article, thanks Bruce. The only comment I can make is that unfortunately this makes too much sense and as a long time fan (hooligan), I’m sure you’ll agree that things that make sense don’t normally happen in F1. Great piece though, and thanks for posting it Ernie.

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