Honda has announced its decision to participate in the FIA Formula One 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 left) Whitmarsh and Ito.
From 2014, new F1 regulations require the introduction of a 1.6 liter 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 experience the challenges and the thrills of operating at the pinnacle of motorsport.
Commenting on this development, Takanobu Ito, President and CEO of Honda 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 which has developed F1 into a high value, top car racing category supported by enthusiastic fans. The corporate slogan of Honda is “The Power of Dreams”. This slogan represents our strong desire to pursue and realise 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.”
Martin Whitmarsh, CEO of McLaren Group Limited said, “The names of McLaren and Honda are synonymous with success in Formula 1, 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 1 success. Together we have a great legacy – and we’re utterly committed to maintaining it.”
Bernie Ecclestone said, “It is a great pleasure to see Honda back in Formula 1. Their engine technology and passion for motor sports make them a natural Formula 1 contender.”
Of course, the following day our Bernie, the patron saint of pit stops, was intimating that BMW would be coming back in, a notion that was strongly denied by BMW headquarters.