Backed by a record of success that saw the company supply engines for five consecutive driving champions—from 1987-1991—Honda will return to the world of Formula One racing for the 2015 season. Notably, it will do so in partnership with the same chassis developer behind prior title-winning efforts: McLaren.
“The names of McLaren and Honda are synonymous with success in Formula One, and, for everyone who works for both companies, the weight of our past achievements together lies heavily on our shoulders,” admitted Martin Whitmarsh, CEO of McLaren. “But it’s a mark of the ambition and resolve we both share that we want once again to take McLaren Honda to the very pinnacle of Formula One success. Together we have a great legacy—and we’re utterly committed to maintaining it.”
Honda will again provide engines for the team, hinting at the primary reason the company is eager to get back into the premier class of automobile racing. The series will soon mandate the use of new, technologically advanced powertrains, and the Japanese automaker does not want to miss out on any of the action.
“The new F1 regulations, with their significant environmental focus, will inspire even greater development of our own advanced technologies and this is central to our participation in F1,” according to Takanobu Ito, president and CEO of Honda. “We have the greatest respect for the FIA’s decision to introduce these new regulations that are both highly challenging but also attractive to manufacturers that pursue environmental technologies and to the Formula One Group, which has developed F1 into a high-value, top car-racing category supported by enthusiastic fans.”