Honda announce historic F1 return

mclarenhonda2One of Formula 1’s most successful partnerships, McLaren-Honda, is to be reignited in 2015. The Japanese company will return for the first time since 2009.

Honda previously competed as their own team but folded after failing to reach their performance targets.

The Japanese company have cited the expected regulation changes as the reason for its participation in the championship. F1 boss, Bernie Ecclestone’s recent emphasis on environmentally friendly engines should provide a challenge.

“It will inspire even greater development of our own advanced technologies”, they explained yesterday.

Honda and McLaren will hope to emulate their previous success following a turbulent beginning to 2013 for the Wokingham outfit. This partnership won four consecutive world drivers’ titles with Ayrton Senna in 1988, ’90 and ’91 and Alain Prost in ’89.

They hold the record for the most successful championship season, winning 15 of the 16 races in 1988.

mclarenhonda1McLaren’s Jenson Button, who won the 2009 world championship following Honda’s reincarnation to Brawn GP, said he was “thrilled and excited” about Honda’s return. For the Englishman, this is “a great development for Formula 1 fans and the sport as a whole”.

What could their Formula 1 revival mean for the championship fight? FIA rules dictate that Honda must be willing to supply engines to other teams if there is a demand present. Mercedes will be keen to ensure that Honda do not obtain information regarding their engine; McLaren have been in a long term engine partnership with the German company since 1995. Mercedes are expected to be supplying  engines to Force India from 2014.

McLaren have been quick to dispel rumours that their partnership with Mercedes will be affected next year. Work on the 2014 McLaren is expected to start soon as the MP4-28 has failed to live up to expectations.

When speaking of the long time partnership, the team’s  managing director, Jonathan Neale, ensured McLaren fans that the “Mercedes engineers and ourselves have been working very closely together” despite the announcement.

The recent resurgence of Mercedes AMG, which has enticed Lewis Hamilton, is not expected to last the remainder of the season as the German outfit continue to adapt to driver and staff changes. Success for the team and those who use their engines, could prove crucial to their future attainment.

The corporate slogan of Honda is “The Power of Dreams”.Rumours currently circulating suggest that Ford and Toyota intend to enter the sport in coming years in the wake of this news.

IMAGES COURTESY OF MCLAREN AND THE GUARDIAN

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