McLaren Honda team formation - executives shaking handsHonda must really love Formula One racing, as evidenced by today's announcement that the Japanese automaker is returning to the world's most popular motorsport for the fifth time in its history. Honda has entered into a team partnership with McLaren to develop and manufacture power systems – the engine and energy recovery system – for the 2015 F1 season. McLaren will be in charge of chassis development and running the day-to-day operations of this newly formed team, which will be called McLaren Honda.

Honda says its decision to reenter F1 racing had to do with new regulations for the 2014 season that require cars to be powered by a 1.6-liter direct-injection turbocharged V6 engine paired with an energy recovery system. Apparently the chance to develop this particular powertrain for F1 racing was too enticing for Honda to pass up, which suggests it has bigger plans for the knowledge learned while developing these systems beyond just winning races.

As mentioned, this is Honda's fifth foray into F1 racing, the first being back in 1964 when it participated as its own team through 1968. Its longest stint came from 1983-1992 as an engine supplier, during which time it partnered with many teams, including McLaren, and won six Constructor Championships. Honda then returned from 2000-2005 as an engine supplier for British American Racing (BAR) before buying that team outright and running it as Honda Racing from 2006-2008. Then the global economic crisis hit. Honda's return to the sport will surely be welcomed by fans as its partnership with McLaren should produce a formidable team. It's a strong signal that the company has returned to health after a few tumultuous years, and hopefully its rediscovered motorsports mojo will help yield more passionately engineered street cars.
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Honda to Participate in the FIA Formula One World Championship

05/16/2013 - TOKYO, Japan

Honda Motor Co., Ltd. today announced its decision to participate in the FIA Formula One (F1) World Championship from the 2015 season under a joint project with McLaren, the UK-based F1 corporation.

Honda will be in charge of the development, manufacture and supply of the power unit, including the engine and energy recovery system, while McLaren will be in charge of the development and manufacture of the chassis, as well as the management of the new team, McLaren Honda.

From 2014, new F1 regulations require the introduction of a 1.6 litre direct injection turbocharged V6 engine with energy recovery systems. The opportunity to further develop these powertrain technologies through the challenge of racing is central to Honda's decision to participate in F1. Throughout its history, Honda has passionately pursued improvements in the efficiency of the internal combustion engine and in more recent years, the development of pioneering energy management technologies such as hybrid systems. Participation in Formula 1 under these new regulations will encourage even further technological progress in both these areas. Furthermore, a new generation of Honda engineers can learn the challenges and the thrills of operating at the pinnacle of motorsport.

Commenting on this exciting development, Takanobu Ito, president and CEO of Honda Motor Co., Ltd. said:
"Ever since its establishment, Honda has been a company which grows by taking on challenges in racing. Honda has a long history of advancing our technologies and nurturing our people by participating in the world's most prestigious automobile racing series. 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. 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 Formula One Group, which has developed F1 into a high value, top car racing category supported by enthusiastic fans. We would like to express our sincere gratitude to Mr. Jean Todt, the President of FIA and to Mr. Bernie Ecclestone, the CEO of Formula One Group who showed great understanding and cooperation to help realize our participation in F1 racing. The corporate slogan of Honda is "The Power of Dreams". This slogan represents our strong desire to pursue and realize our dreams together with our customers and fans. Together with McLaren, one of the most distinguished F1 constructors, Honda will mark a new beginning in our challenges in F1."

Also, Martin Whitmarsh, CEO of McLaren Group Limited said:
"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. 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."

Jean Todt, president of FIA said:
"I am very happy to hear about Honda's important decision to return to Formula One with McLaren from 2015.The introduction of the new power train next year, in the form of a 1.6 litre, 6 cylinder engine with direct injection and energy recovery, is a very exciting challenge and demonstrates a vision for the future of the sport. I am sure that Honda will become a strong contender in the years to come. "

Bernie Ecclestone, CEO of Formula One Group said:
"It is a great pleasure to see Honda back in Formula One. Their engine technology and passion for motor sports make them a natural Formula One contender."

History of Honda Participation in F1 Racing:
1964-1968: Participated as an "all Honda" team including both the engine and chassis
1983-1992: Participated as an engine supplier (Won both the driver's and constructors' championship titles for four consecutive years from 1988 through 1991)
2000-2005: Participated as an engine supplier and joint developer of the chassis
2006-2008: Participated as an "all Honda" team including both the engine and chassis


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  • 92 Comments
      Rob
      • 1 Year Ago
      McLaren/Honda/Senna combination was unbeatable in the 1980's
        chanonissan
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Rob
        in what race? what was the tiltle? Honda mclaren never won a world title, dominate the 1980,s? are you serious the renault won the world title in 1980-1983 and was the most dominate in high altitudes. Honda/ mclaren won the Constructor championships and Driver championships 1988,1989,1990 and 1991, but never won a world title.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @chanonissan
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          @chanonissan
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          @chanonissan
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          • 1 Year Ago
          @chanonissan
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          chanonissan
          • 1 Year Ago
          @chanonissan
          Honda/ mclaren won the Constructor championships and Driver championships 1988,1989,1990 and 1991, but never won a world title when they return now i have finish the paragraph. Car guy1701, renault won the race 1980 with 1# 2# positon Arnoux and Gilles Villeneuve were the drivers, that would mean renault dominate 1980, in 1981 Arnoux, villeneuve and a new driver name post won the constructors #1,#2,#3 in that position, now how can you have two cars dominate 1980's, and that what I am pointing out, renault have more wins than honda /mclaren in 1980's.
          chanonissan
          • 1 Year Ago
          @chanonissan
          correction their gilles was replace by post for a #1,#2 finish in 1981.
          chanonissan
          • 1 Year Ago
          @chanonissan
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Formula_One_World_Constructors'_Champions carguys1701 this list makes more sense than the comments wiki does which is not calrify on who win races, but I am sure since honda return in 2000 they have not win anything.
          chanonissan
          • 1 Year Ago
          @chanonissan
          who wrote these wiki pages, some of these info are misleading, good thing I have the renault history webpage to get the correct info, renault never winning 1980 nor 1981 nor 1982, alain prost came third in1983 in the constructors championship. and second twice in the drivers championship. 1982. Ford would be the dominate. Ford is won 1980 ford is wom 1981
          • 1 Year Ago
          @chanonissan
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      timber
      • 1 Year Ago
      If only Ayrton Senna could return as well to drive this car...
      Ryan
      • 1 Year Ago
      The collective F1 field just let out a collective *gulp.* Last time Honda and McLaren teamed up in F1 with turbo engines, some pretty dominating cars emerged.
        chanonissan
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Ryan
        down vote all you want but honda never won a world championship title, only the driver and construction tittles.
          dahon.dahon
          • 1 Year Ago
          @chanonissan
          so what the hell is your definition of a world championship title in formula 1? there are only a constructors and a drivers title. firstly get your facts straight before you go around thinking you know everything.
          dahon.dahon
          • 1 Year Ago
          @chanonissan
          and also, honda powered cars won 4 constructors titles in the 80s: Williams 86,87 Mclaren 88,89 Porsche (yes porsche - not TAG =P) powered cars won 2 constructors titles in the 80s: 84,85 Ferrari powered cars won 2: 82,83 Ford won 2: 80,81 so I would say honda DID dominate in a strictly engine supplier sense. much like how you're applying your "renault" engine dominance argument". And yes Honda did win at least some races in their stint as a works team, back in the 60s and most recently in 2006, hungary, Button won his first race. Now that says something compared to another high profile high spending japanese team where "we learn, we race, you win"... hrmmm so enough of the fanboyism. just because you probably got spanked by a civic on the road doesnt mean you have to get your panties in a twist.
        chanonissan
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Ryan
        who was they dominating, because Honda and mclaren was f1 GT race car, not F1! although honda did compete by being an engine supplier they never had a title.
        SloopJohnB
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Ryan
        Don't hold your breath for them to upstage Red Bull.
      poopoohead100
      • 1 Year Ago
      I hope this allows awesome tech to trickle down into the new NSX.
      GVIrish
      • 1 Year Ago
      Great to see the Honda Motor Company getting back to their racing roots and doing what they do best, engines. It sucks that they were never able to reap the rewards of having their own fully-owned team (even though that team, renamed as Brawn, won the title the next year). Hopefully this new McLaren Honda partnership will be as successfully as before, and who knows maybe they can share resources/technology in production cars.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @GVIrish
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        protovici
        • 1 Year Ago
        @GVIrish
        Ehh, Honda racing roots? Maybe in sport bike.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @protovici
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        SloopJohnB
        • 1 Year Ago
        @GVIrish
        technology in production cars? LOL...never see coanda exhaust in production street cars.
          Felspawn
          • 1 Year Ago
          @SloopJohnB
          actually VTEC was pioneered in F1 and had plenty of Production applications
          • 1 Year Ago
          @SloopJohnB
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          @SloopJohnB
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      throwback
      • 1 Year Ago
      Nice to see Honda back in F1, they must be making decent money again.
      over9000
      • 1 Year Ago
      Ayrton Senna + NSX forever
      shyu0622
      • 1 Year Ago
      I was fortunate enough to watch Honda own the IndyCar podium live at the Grand Prix of Long Beach. Returning to F1 with McLaren as its partner can only mean good things for the company.
      Matt Quinn
      • 1 Year Ago
      Best Partnership EVER!!!
      type r 98 503
      • 1 Year Ago
      mega!
      Josh
      • 1 Year Ago
      There is a reason why they're still called Honda MOTOR company. Motors first, then the same attention to detail to the car it will sit in. F1 or Prelude
      Felspawn
      • 1 Year Ago
      awesome news, Lets hope for a return to the glory days of McLaren and Honda of the 90s
        chanonissan
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Felspawn
        what are you talking about this is F1, not F1 Gt that mclaren/Honda compete in using the NSX engine. Different kind of game.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @chanonissan
          [blocked]
          chanonissan
          • 1 Year Ago
          @chanonissan
          @aaronm_t, it does not matter what you want to say they have never won a world title with honda engine. Just a driver and construction titles.
          chanonissan
          • 1 Year Ago
          @chanonissan
          @aaronm_mt let me clarify myself for you, in year 2000 renault and honda return, renault have titles under their belt how much honda have since their return?
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