Grapevine: Illien Set for Honda Move

Mario Illien, the current head of the Ilmor company that builds Mercedes-Benz's Formula One engines, has been linked with a move to Honda as speculation mounts that he will quit his current role

Grapevine: Illien Set for Honda Move

Illien's contract with Ilmor is due to run out at the end of the year and, with Mercedes-Benz due to take over the final 15 percent of his company in December, sources claim that the Swiss is contemplating turning his back on the business he originally founded along with the late Paul Morgan in 1983.

It is understood that Illien has to make a formal decision later this summer about whether he wants to continue at the company - and Mercedes-Benz have confirmed that they will enter talks with him then to discuss his future plans.

A Mercedes spokesman told Autosport-Atlas: "Mario's contract expires in December and we will discuss in the summer if or if not we will continue to work with him."

Although sources have told Autosport-Atlas that Ilmor's current contract stipulates he cannot work for a rival engine manufacturer for at least six months after he leaves the company, it is understood that Japanese manufacturer Honda has expressed an interest in luring him on board once that period of 'gardening leave' is over.

Honda are fully focused on winning the World Championship as soon as possible and the signing of a engineer with the kind of knowledge of F1 engines that Illien has would be a major coup.

Mercedes have confirmed that Ilmor's engineering director Markus Duesmann, who began his role with the company on May 1, will take over once Illien has left or has given up his position.

shares
comments
Blundell to Stand Down from BRDC
Previous article

Blundell to Stand Down from BRDC

Next article

Alonso on Top in Practice 2 - Monaco

Alonso on Top in Practice 2 - Monaco
Load comments
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Plus

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Plus

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. JAMES NEWBOLD hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwarts

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Plus

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022
How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner Plus

How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner

Brabham’s first world championship race-winning car was held back by unreliable Climax engines – or so its creators believed, as STUART CODLING explains

Formula 1
Jan 10, 2022
The steps Norris took to reach a new level in F1 2021 Plus

The steps Norris took to reach a new level in F1 2021

Lando Norris came of age as a grand prix driver in 2021. McLaren’s young ace is no longer an apprentice or a quietly capable number two – he’s proved himself a potential winner in the top flight and, as STUART CODLING finds out, he’s ready to stake his claim to greatness…

Formula 1
Jan 9, 2022
The original F1 maestro who set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton Plus

The original F1 maestro who set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton

Juan Manuel Fangio, peerless on track and charming off it, established the gold standard of grand prix greatness. NIGEL ROEBUCK recalls a remarkable champion

Formula 1
Jan 8, 2022
How Russell sees his place in the Mercedes-Hamilton F1 superteam Plus

How Russell sees his place in the Mercedes-Hamilton F1 superteam

George Russell joining Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes this year gives it arguably the best line-up in Formula 1 – if it can avoid too many fireworks. After serving his apprenticeship at Williams, Russell is the man that Mercedes team believes can lead it in the post-Hamilton era, but how will he fare against the seven-time champion? Autosport heard from the man himself

Formula 1
Jan 6, 2022
How F1 pulled off its second pandemic season and its 2022 implications Plus

How F1 pulled off its second pandemic season and its 2022 implications

OPINION: The Formula 1 season just gone was the second to be completed under the dreaded shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic, but in many ways it was much more ‘normal’ than 2020. Here’s the story of how the championship’s various organisers delivered a second challenging campaign, which offers a glimpse at what may be different next time around

Formula 1
Jan 5, 2022