• The three-generation Honda Formula One cars, 2006 Honda RA106 (L), 1988 McLaren Honda MP4/4 (C) and 1965 Honda RA272 (R), are on display in front of Honda headquarters after the press conference in Tokyo on May 16, 2013. Japanese automaker Honda said it will return to Formula One in 2015 as an engine supplier to British team McLaren in a bid to revive their championship-winning partnership. AFP PHOTO / TOSHIFUMI KITAMURATOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP/Getty Images
  • Honda's past Fomula One cars are displayed in front of the Honda Motor Co. headquarters in Tokyo after its President Takanobu Ito held a press conference Thursday, May 16, 2013. Ito announced that Japanese automaker Honda is returning to Formula One in 2015 as an engine supplier to McLaren, recreating a partnership that was dominant in the 1980s and 1990s. Ito reversed the decision made in 2008 to pull out of the expensive sport due to the effects of the global financial crisis. The cars, are from left, Honda RA106 driven by Britain's Jenson Button, McLaren Honda MP 4/4 by the late Brazilian driver Ayrton Senna and Honda RA272 which won the team's first F1 Grand Prix. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)
  • The three-generation Honda Formula One cars, (front to rear) 2006 Honda RA106, 1988 McLaren Honda MP4/4 and 1965 Honda RA272, are on display in front of Honda headquarters after the press conference in Tokyo on May 16, 2013. Japanese automaker Honda said it will return to Formula One in 2015 as an engine supplier to British team McLaren in a bid to revive their championship-winning partnership. AFP PHOTO / TOSHIFUMI KITAMURATOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP/Getty Images
  • The three-generation Honda Formula One cars, 1965 Honda RA272 (L), 1988 McLaren Honda MP4/4 (C) and 2006 Honda RA106 (R), are on display in front of Honda headquarters after the press conference in Tokyo on May 16, 2013. Japanese automaker Honda said it will return to Formula One in 2015 as an engine supplier to British team McLaren in a bid to revive their championship-winning partnership. AFP PHOTO / TOSHIFUMI KITAMURATOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP/Getty Images
  • The three-generation Honda Formula One cars, (front to rear)1965 Honda RA272, 1988 McLaren Honda MP4/4 and 2006 Honda RA106, are on display in front of Honda headquarters after the press conference in Tokyo on May 16, 2013. Japanese automaker Honda said it will return to Formula One in 2015 as an engine supplier to British team McLaren in a bid to revive their championship-winning partnership. AFP PHOTO / TOSHIFUMI KITAMURATOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP/Getty Images
  • McLaren Honda MP 4/4 car which was steered by the late Brazilian Formula One driver Ayrton Senna is removed after being displayed in front of the Honda Motor Co. headquarters in Tokyo Thursday, May 16, 2013. Japanese automaker Honda is returning to Formula One in 2015 as an engine supplier to McLaren, recreating a partnership that was dominant in the 1980s and 1990s. Honda President Takanobu Ito announced the decision at a news conference on Thursday, reversing the decision made in 2008 to pull out of the expensive sport due to the effects of the global financial crisis. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)
  • McLaren Honda MP 4/4 car which was steered by the late Brazilian Formula One driver Ayrton Senna is removed after being displayed in front of the Honda Motor Co. headquarters in Tokyo Thursday, May 16, 2013. Japanese automaker Honda is returning to Formula One in 2015 as an engine supplier to McLaren, recreating a partnership that was dominant in the 1980s and 1990s. Honda President Takanobu Ito announced the decision at a news conference on Thursday, reversing the decision made in 2008 to pull out of the expensive sport due to the effects of the global financial crisis. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)
  • Honda Motor Co. President Takanobu Ito, right, poses with McLaren Group Ltd. CEO Martin Whitmarsh for photographers after their joint press conference in Tokyo, Thursday, May 16, 2013. Japanese automaker Honda is returning to Formula One in 2015 as an engine supplier to McLaren, recreating a partnership that was dominant in the 1980s and 1990s. Ito announced the decision at the press conference, reversing the decision made in 2008 to pull out of the expensive sport due to the effects of the global financial crisis. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)
  • Honda Motor Co. President Takanobu Ito speaks during a joint press conference with McLaren Group Ltd. CEO Martin Whitmarsh at the Japanese automaker's headquarters in Tokyo, Thursday, May 16, 2013. Honda is returning to Formula One in 2015 as an engine supplier to McLaren, recreating a partnership that was dominant in the 1980s and 1990s. Ito announced the decision, reversing the decision made in 2008 to pull out of the expensive sport due to the effects of the global financial crisis. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)
  • McLaren Group Ltd. CEO Martin Whitmarsh speaks during a joint press conference with Honda Motor Co. President Takanobu Ito in Tokyo, Thursday, May 16, 2013. Japanese automaker Honda is returning to Formula One in 2015 as an engine supplier to McLaren, recreating a partnership that was dominant in the 1980s and 1990s. Ito announced the decision, reversing the decision made in 2008 to pull out of the expensive sport due to the effects of the global financial crisis. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)
Next year Honda will return to Formula One after a seven-year absence, bringing the first Japanese automaker to compete in the top-tier racing series back into the fold. But though it started in 1964 much as it ended in 2008, running its own team (much like Ferrari and Mercedes do today), its new F1 program will see it revert to engine-supplier status (like Renault did when it sold its team to Lotus).

The arrangement will be exclusive to McLaren for the 2015 Formula One World Championship. But what fans and insiders alike have been wondering is how it might expand after that. Well, now we have at least part of the answer.

According to the F1 business insiders at Pitpass, Honda motorsport chief Yasuhisa Arai told a group of journalists at this past weekend's race in Shanghai that the deal with McLaren will be exclusive not only in 2015, but also in 2016. In other words, it won't be until 2017 at the earliest before Honda might begin supplying engines to any other teams, if at all.

The last time McLaren and Honda collaborated, they proved an unassailable combination - one of the most successful partnerships in the history of motorsport. With Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost (subsequently replaced by Gerhard Berger) behind the wheel, McLaren-Honda won both the drivers' and constructors' titles four years running from 1988 through 1991, proving as winning a combination as Red Bull and Renault.

McLaren placed second under Honda power the following season in 1992, then meandered under Ford and Peugeot power before embarking on its long partnership with Mercedes that's still in effect this season. Meanwhile Honda left the series after 1992, only to return in 2000 with BAR, the team that it subsequently bought, then sold in 2009 to Ross Brawn who won the championship and ended up selling to Mercedes. That team is now leading the championship standings with nearly three times as many points as its closest challengers.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • From Our Partners

    Share This Photo X