Honda set to announce Formula 1 return
15 May 2013 – Honda is on the verge of announcing its return to Formula 1 as the engine supplier of McLaren, Japanese publication Nikkei has claimed. The deal, set to commence from the second year of the new powertrain regulations in 2015, will allegedly be confirmed by Takanobu Ito, the President of the car manufacturer, in the near future.
Speculation has been rife over a potential reunion of the Honda and McLaren parties in recent months, with the latter's Mercedes engine contract due to expire at the end of next season. As the sport heads into the hotly-debated 1.6-litre turbocharged V6 era, the Woking-based outfit is expected to remain with the German marque through 2014, before switching to the Japanese manufacturer for the following campaign.
Honda opted to pull out of Formula 1 as a works team at the end of the 2008 season, before Ross Brawn led the squad to double title success under the Brawn GP guise. Its involvement in the sport began back in the 1960s, although it is arguably best remembered for its formidable partnership with McLaren from 1988 to 1992, a period which yielded four Drivers' and Constructors' world titles plus 44 race victories.
The environment-focused outlook of the new regulations is said to be a key factor behind Honda's move towards a return to the top echelon of motor racing, with the manufacturer able to apply its Formula 1 technology to future road car creations.