Honda is returning to Formula One. Again. Following its last exit from the world’s most expensive sport back in 2008, Honda did not even leave behind some engines for other teams to play with. But now it says it will be coming back as an engine supplier to the McLaren team from 2015. McLaren is currently being supplied by competitor Mercedes-Benz.
The partnership is a return to what the pair had in the 1980s and 1990s when Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost drove Honda-powered McLarens to 8 World Championships between them. The new engine supply agreement will see the Japanese manufacturer building a 1.6-litre V6 turbo with energy recovering systems and other technologies.
Honda President and CEO Takanobu Ito had these words to say: “Honda has a long history of advancing our technologies and nurturing our people by participating in the world's most prestigious automobile racing series. The new F1 regulations with their significant environmental focus will inspire even greater development of our own advanced technologies and this is central to our participation in F1.”
“The names of McLaren and Honda are synonymous with success in Formula One, and, for everyone who works for both companies, the weight of our past achievements together lies heavily on our shoulders. But it's a mark of the ambition and resolve we both share that we want once again to take McLaren Honda to the very pinnacle of Formula One success. Together we have a great legacy – and we're utterly committed to maintaining it,” said McLaren Team Principal Martin Whitmarsh.
Bernie Ecclestone, CEO of Formula One Group said: “It is a great pleasure to see Honda back in Formula One. Their engine technology and passion for motor sports make them a natural Formula One contender.”