Honda: No Regrets Over Supplying Two Teams

Japanese engine supplier Honda do not regret their decision to supply two Formula One teams, according to the vice-president of Honda Racing Development Otmar Szafnauer.

Honda: No Regrets Over Supplying Two Teams

Japanese engine supplier Honda do not regret their decision to supply two Formula One teams, according to the vice-president of Honda Racing Development Otmar Szafnauer.

Honda, winners of 71 Grands Prix and six Constructors' Championships, returned to the sport at the start of the 2000 season, supplying engines to the British American Racing team. After a disappointing season with the Brackley-based squad, the Japanese marque decided to expand their programme and also supply to the Jordan team at the start of 2001.

But since then, both teams have failed to live up to the expectations, with three third places as Honda's best results since the start of 2000. At last weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix, Honda and Jordan announced the end of their current contract, the engine manufacturer looking to concentrate exclusively on BAR next season in order to return to winning ways.

Szafnauer, however, dismissed suggestions that their original plans of supplying two teams were too ambitious and claimed their have benefitted from it.

"Ambitious? No. Honda re-entered F1 in 2000 after quite a long sabbatical and supplying two teams helped us develop an information base quickly in the first few years," Szafnauer said.

"Historically Honda has been very comfortable supplying two teams with engines or bikes in our many racing activities. We've learnt a great deal and definitely improved faster as a result, but we will be focusing all our efforts on one team from the end of this season."

Szafnauer also revealed that the design and development of the new engine for the 2003 season is well on schedule and that they are planning to start testing the new unit next month before being tested in the new BAR at the start of the year.

"The timing for next year's engine is pretty tight, as I'm sure it is with the other manufacturers," said Szafnauer. "It's an entirely new engine and the design phase is almost complete, with the new powerplant scheduled to run on the dyno at the end of September.

"Following that there will be more upgrades and further dyno runs towards the end of this year, with the engine running in a car for the first time in early January. Although the timing is tight, the programme is on schedule and we'll continue to push ahead."

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