Honda to make return to Formula One after agreeing deal to replace Mercedes as partners of McLaren

The Japanese manufacturing giant quit the sport at the end of 2008

Honda is to return to Formula One in 2015 after today confirming a partnership with McLaren as engine supplier.

Honda chief executive Takanobu Ito and McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh made the announcement in Tokyo.

The Japanese manufacturing giant quit the sport at the end of 2008 at the height of the global financial crisis.

But with F1 due for a major engine overhaul from next season when turbo-charged 1.6-litre V8 powerplants replace the current 2.4-litre V12 units, Honda has decided the time is right to make a comeback.

McLaren and Honda formed one of the most successful partnerships in F1 history from 1988 to 1992, winning 44 grands prix and eight world titles in such a short period of time.

It will bring to end McLaren's long-running engine deal with Mercedes that began in 1995, so far yielding 78 victories, one constructors' and three drivers' championships.

Although Honda had little success with their own team for three years after branching out from 2006-08, their return is seen as something of a coup for McLaren.

Whitmarsh said: "I am delighted to announce Honda and McLaren will soon begin a new chapter of our legendary Formula One partnership.

"It is a partnership synonymous with success. Together, in 1988, we created the most successful Formula One car of all time which was driven to victory 15 times out of 16 (grands prix) by Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost.

"McLaren and Honda are about to embark on a new and extremely exciting adventure together.

"For everyone who works for both companies, the weight of our past achievements lies heavily on our shoulders.

"But like McLaren, Honda is a company with motor racing in its blood and its the mark of ambition we both share that we want to re-create past glories and take McLaren-Honda back to the top.

"Together we'll form a lasting partnership to deliver success on the track, backed up by world-leading R&D (research and development) and engineering intelligence."

Whitmarsh concedes the two companies have "embarked on a very demanding journey", but has no doubt it will ultimately again prove successful.

"Formula One is a hugely challenging sport and is becoming more competitive every year, but we're both totally committed to the success of our partnership and to our ultimate goal - to win," added Whitmarsh.

"That commitment, combined with our world-beating engineering know-how, gives us the confidence we can overcome the challenges we face.

"Together, Honda and McLaren have a great legacy. We formed a uniquely successful partnership that took on and beat the world.

"Together, we created some of the greatest, most-iconic Formula One moments of all time, which are still being talked about today all around the world.

"As we look to the future, both Honda and McLaren are utterly committed to maintaining that legacy and being successful once more."

Jenson Button, who spent six years working with Honda cars or engines from 2003-2008, said: "I know exactly how passionate Honda is about motorsport, and Formula One in particular.

"I grew up watching McLaren-Honda Formula One cars racing and winning around the world - they wrote their own glorious chapter of Formula One history.

"Even now, picturing those unmistakable red-and-white cars evokes vivid memories of some of the most dramatic and exciting motor racing the world has ever seen.

"McLaren-Honda: I know how much passion, success and pride are encapsulated within just those two words.

"That's why I'm so thrilled and excited about what's not only a fantastic opportunity for the team, but also a great development for Formula One fans and the sport as a whole."

PA

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before