Honda open to supplying F1 engines to customer teams from 2016

Honda is open to supplying customer teams in Formula 1 from 2016, after confirming its partnership with McLaren is exclusive for just one season

Honda open to supplying F1 engines to customer teams from 2016

The Japanese manufacturer is returning to F1 for the first time since 2008, having been attracted back thanks to the introduction of the new turbo V6 engines.

Honda's deal with McLaren has guaranteed the Woking-based team exclusivity of the power units for the first season, and its motorsport chief Yasuhisa Arai has clarified plans for 2016 and beyond.

"In 2015 we don't have the plan to supply any team other than McLaren," he said in an interview with the official F1 website.

"In 2016 or after, if some teams or partners ask us to supply them too, we will take a look at that situation.

"But even in 2016, McLaren will be our main partner in F1.

"And even if we supply other teams from 2016 onwards our main focus will always be to win - to make the engine better through more data - and not necessarily to look at a return on investment. If you win that comes automatically."

Arai is adamant that Honda's development plans for next year are on course, and that he fully expects it to be winning races from the off.

"Formula 1 is a very important part of our strategy - and winning is very important for Honda," he said.

"We want to raise the awareness of our brand and I trust - I am a firm believer - that we will win races next year."

NO PLANS FOR ABU DHABI TEST

McLaren had been looking at the possibility of giving the new Honda engine a first run in its car at the post-season Abu Dhabi test this year.

However, Arai says that there are no plans for it to hit the track until the first tests of next year.

"In the next couple of weeks we will run simulations and at the beginning of next year we will start to run on the track - very likely at Jerez," he said.

"That will very likely be the first time to show the whole car, the Honda engine and the McLaren chassis - the Honda McLaren.

"Right now there are no plans to collect data during the rest of 2014. Jerez will be the first time."

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