Date: 6th March 2013 at 10:50am
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Recent media reports had suggested that McLaren could switch from Mercedes to Honda power as quickly as 2015.

McLaren hold an option with Mercedes to stick with their engines through the 2014 and 2015 seasons following the engine change regulations at the end of the upcoming season.

But the BBC had suggested that McLaren might only opt to take Mercedes engines in 2014, opting out of the deal for 2015 and could switch to Honda engines instead.

Honda president Takanobu Ito told the media last month that the Japanese manufacturer was ‘studying’ the idea of returning to the sport once the new engine regulations come into force.

Honda have not been involved in Formula One since they left the sport at the end of 2008, just months before the team which went on to be known as Brawn GP dominated the early months of the 2009 Formula One World Championship.

Despite a McLaren spokesperson telling the BBC that they: ‘never discuss media rumours about potential partners.’ McLaren’s Team Principal Martin Whitmarsh has done just that, telling Sky Sports: ‘What I can tell you is we have a contract with a long-standing partner, Mercedes-Benz, for 2013, 2014 and 2015, So we have a contract, they’re our partners and we’re going to try and win World Championships and races with them.’

But Whitmarsh stopped short of ruling out a change in the future: ‘In the longer term who knows what’s going to happen? We’re delighted to be partnering Mercedes-Benz. They’ve done, certainly in the last few years, a fantastic job and we’ve won a lot of races together and we’re going to try and win quite a few more in the next few years.’

In his role as Chairman of the Formula One Teams’ Association [FOTA], Whitmarsh also said that he hoped to see old and new manufacturers coming into the sport in the future.

‘There’s a lot of speculation and I’ve heard Porsche, Hyundai, Honda, all those sorts of names, I hope for Formula 1 that these manufacturers come back – we need them in the sport. At the moment we’ve got Renault, Mercedes, Ferrari; we need more engine suppliers.