Honda confirms 2015 F1 return as McLaren engine supplier
|By Edd Straw||Thursday, May 16th 2013, 07:13 GMT|
Honda has confirmed that it will return to Formula 1 in 2015 as engine supplier to McLaren.
The Japanese manufacturer has not competed in F1 since shutting its works team at the end of 2008, but has decided to return as a result of the change to 1.6-litre turbocharged V6 engines.
Honda president Takanobu Ito said it was a "joint project with McLaren" and that the team will be renamed McLaren-Honda.
Honda has been known to have been in talks with McLaren for some time and has already made significant progress with its all-new 1.6-litre turbocharged V6 Formula 1 engine, working out of its R&D facility in Tochigi, Japan.
It previously supplied McLaren with engines from 1988-1992, winning both the drivers' and constructors' championship four times.
McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh hailed the new deal, saying: "Together Honda and McLaren have a great legacy; we formed a uniquely successful partnership that took on and beat the world.
"Together, we created some of the greatest, most iconic Formula 1 moments of all time which are still being talked about today all around the world.
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"McLaren and Honda are about to embark on a new and extremely exciting adventure together, so on behalf of everyone at McLaren and also everyone that loves F1, I am delighted to welcome Honda back to the sport."
Whitmarsh admitted that the previous success of McLaren-Honda creates huge weight of expectation.
But he believes the Japanese manufacturer is the ideal partner for the team to ensure it is successful in the future.
"For everyone that works for the company, the weight of our past achievements lies heavily on our shoulders," he said.
"It's a partnership synonymous with success.
"During the 80s and the 90s, McLaren and Honda won 44 grands prix and eight world championships.
"In 1988, we created the most successful Formula 1 car of all time, the all-conquering McLaren-Honda MP4/4 which was driven to victory 15 times out of 16 by Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost.
"Honda has an unrivalled pedigree as a manufacturer of turbocharged engines, making it the perfect engine partner for McLaren as we strive to deliver future success in F1.
"As we look to the future, Honda and McLaren are utterly committed to maintaining that legacy and to being successful once more."