Honda’s return to F1 with McLaren to be announced “soon”
The Japanese car manufacturer last raced in the sport in 2008 when they had their own team. It was the second consecutive unsuccessful year for the team and they pulled out of the sport shortly after. They then became the Brawn GP squad before Mercedes brought them out to form their Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team.
Sources suggest that Honda’s Chief Executive Takanobu Ito could make an announcement as early as Thursday.
McLaren currently use Mercedes power-plants and the deal could see them continue to use their engines for one extra year. The 2014 engine regulations are drastically different with the return of V6 Turbo’s and the Energy Recovery System, a more powerful KERS system.
Speculation on the firms return to the sport has been rumbling for some time. McLaren’s Martin Whitmarsh failed to comment on the reports but according to business newspaper Nikkei the announcement of Honda’s return in 2015 will come “some time soon.”
Shigeki Endo, a Honda Spokesman, said on the speculation “”There is nothing we can say at the moment,”
If the deal does go ahead, which is widely expected, then it will revive one of Formula 1’s most iconic partnerships, which saw the likes of Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost battle as team-mates in the last 80’s.
It’s an poorely kept secret that Honda are very keen on returning to F1 which will bring the engine manufacturer tally up to four, as Cosworth will leave the sport at the end of the year.
Honda debuted in Formula 1 at the 1964 German Grand Prix but they had a short lived first stint in the sport, withdrawing in 1968. They then had a very successful stint as an engine partner between 1983 and 1992. Eight years later they returned with the BAR team before they took over the team in 2006, where they registered a race win in Hungary. After an unsuccessful 2007 and 2008 they decided to pull out of the sport, one of many car manufacturers to withdraw in recent times.
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Jack Leslie is a freelance motorsport and Formula 1 journalist. He has been part of the Richland F1 team since the very start and made his F1 paddock debut for the website at the 2014 Austrian Grand Prix. Jack also writes for Car Throttle, RumbleStripNews, Formula1Blog, PureF1 and F1 Plus, as well as running a popular blog.