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Honda wants call on supplying second Formula 1 team in 2018 by May

Honda says it would need to have a deal to supply a second team with Formula 1 engines for 2018 finalised by next May at the latest

The Japanese manufacturer is keen to take on additional teams at some point and has expanded its Milton Keynes base to provide the space required to do so.

How Honda could supply a second F1 team

In line with new-for-2017 regulations, manufacturers are obliged to supply engines to teams unable to secure a deal.

The manufacturer with the smallest presence on the grid, currently Honda only supplying McLaren, would be asked to step up first.

All 11 teams have deals sorted for next year, but Autosport understands there is at least one team on the grid keen on moving to a Honda supply in 2018, and that informal talks have started.

Chief Yusuke Hasegawa told Autosport Honda would need to know for certain if a supply was required for 2018 "around the time of the Monaco Grand Prix".

He added: "That's when Red Bull and Toro Rosso announced they would use the Renault engine this year.

"That is the latest timing for us but the earlier we know, the better."

Hasegawa said that means advanced talks would be required early next year, and added there has been more interest recently as its package has improved, following Honda's disastrous return to F1 in 2015.

"Now we are discussing the possibility of cooperation and the chance to supply the engine but so far, there is no fixed negotiation," he said.

"There has been informal interest. They are very kind to show some level of interest.

"Mercedes customers have no strong intention to change their engine to Honda.

"We have to prove we can show a decent step in the performance of the Honda engine.

"Until then, I don't think they can show us a concrete request."

When asked if taking on a second team would aid development, Hasegawa said: "Well, we need to pay costs as well.

"But it's very obvious we can increase the data and the chance of spotting a failure."

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