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

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?