Today, Honda made millions of hardcore F1 fans and Ayrton Senna fans’ dreams come true when they announced that not only are they returning to F1 in 2015 but they will rekindle their partnership with McLaren! Awesome news right? But the question remains: why does Honda want to come back?
If you remember, Honda’s last stint in F1 did not go so well. Instead of working with a partner, they attempted an “all Honda” effort and did all the development on the engine and chassis in-house. Like Toyota, Honda was spending tons of money and not seeing great results despite having talent like Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello. When those struggles were compounded with a faltering economy Honda backed out of Formula 1 and most knew it would take something major to bring them back.
Well it turns out that “major” thing is the new 1.6 liter energy recover V6 engine mandate that will hit F1 in 2015. Honda sees the new engine setup as a great R&D opportunity for their road cars which is great news for Honda fans. My only gripe is that Honda didn’t do this sooner, otherwise we might have been expecting a McLaren edition NSX in 2015 as well!
I think with a team like McLaren behind them Honda will have a much better time in F1 than they did in their last bout with the sport.
05/16/2013 – TOKYO, Japan
Honda Motor Co., Ltd. today announced its decision to participate in the FIA Formula One (F1) World Championship from the 2015 season under a joint project with McLaren, the UK-based F1 corporation.
Honda will be in charge of the development, manufacture and supply of the power unit, including the engine and energy recovery system, while McLaren will be in charge of the development and manufacture of the chassis, as well as the management of the new team, McLaren Honda.
From 2014, new F1 regulations require the introduction of a 1.6 litre direct injection turbocharged V6 engine with energy recovery systems. The opportunity to further develop these powertrain technologies through the challenge of racing is central to Honda’s decision to participate in F1. Throughout its history, Honda has passionately pursued improvements in the efficiency of the internal combustion engine and in more recent years, the development of pioneering energy management technologies such as hybrid systems. Participation in Formula 1 under these new regulations will encourage even further technological progress in both these areas. Furthermore, a new generation of Honda engineers can learn the challenges and the thrills of operating at the pinnacle of motorsport.
Commenting on this exciting development, Takanobu Ito, president and CEO of Honda Motor Co., Ltd. said:
“Ever since its establishment, Honda has been a company which grows by taking on challenges in racing. 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. We have the greatest respect for the FIA’s decision to introduce these new regulations that are both highly challenging but also attractive to manufacturers that pursue environmental technologies and to Formula One Group, which has developed F1 into a high value, top car racing category supported by enthusiastic fans. We would like to express our sincere gratitude to Mr. Jean Todt, the President of FIA and to Mr. Bernie Ecclestone, the CEO of Formula One Group who showed great understanding and cooperation to help realize our participation in F1 racing. The corporate slogan of Honda is “The Power of Dreams”. This slogan represents our strong desire to pursue and realize our dreams together with our customers and fans. Together with McLaren, one of the most distinguished F1 constructors, Honda will mark a new beginning in our challenges in F1.”
Also, Martin Whitmarsh, CEO of McLaren Group Limited said:
“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.”
Jean Todt, president of FIA said:
“I am very happy to hear about Honda’s important decision to return to Formula One with McLaren from 2015. The introduction of the new power train next year, in the form of a 1.6 litre, 6 cylinder engine with direct injection and energy recovery, is a very exciting challenge and demonstrates a vision for the future of the sport. I am sure that Honda will become a strong contender in the years to come.”
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.”
History of Honda Participation in F1 Racing: 1964-1968: Participated as an “all Honda” team including both the engine and chassis 1983-1992: Participated as an engine supplier (Won both the driver’s and constructors’ championship titles for four consecutive years from 1988 through 1991) 2000-2005: Participated as an engine supplier and joint developer of the chassis 2006-2008: Participated as an “all Honda” team including both the engine and chassis