Once a close collaborator with Mercedes-Benz, the British racing team was the German automaker's team of choice in F1, and was its partner in the SLR program. The working relationship between the two was so close, in fact, that rumors of Daimler's imminent take-over at Woking persisted year after year. But instead they went a different way.
Mercedes-Benz sold its stake in McLaren and bought another F1 team, the SLR was discontinued and each developed their own supercar in-house. And unlike the BMW-powered McLaren F1 supercar and the Mercedes-powered SLR, the new MP4-12C uses McLaren's own, in-house developed 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8 engine.
Based on that critical step, rumors are circulating around the F1 paddock that McLaren's grand prix racing program could also switch to its own engine. The move would break the last tie that exists between the companies once joined at the proverbial hip, and while team principal Martin Whitmarsh reportedly doesn't see it as a likely step, he hasn't ruled the possibility out of the question, either.