Honda to participate in the FIA Formula One World Championship

McLaren Honda F1-(from left) CEO of McLaren Group Limited Martin Whitmarsh, Honda President & CEO Takanobu Ito

Honda Motor Co., Ltd. has 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 F1 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.

The late great Ayrton Senna

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. 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.”

*FIA – Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile

*Formula One Group is the collective name for the multiple companies within the organization that manages the overall operation of Formula One racing, including Formula One Administration (FOA) that manages commercial rights and Formula One Management (FOM) that manages promotional and marketing activities.


History of Honda Participation in F1 Racing:

Honda has a rich racing pedigree

1964 – 1968: Participated as an “all Honda” factory team manufacturing both their own engine and chassis with infamous drivers such as Richie Ginther, John Surtees and Jo Schlesser winning a number of Grand Prix.
1983 – 1992: Participated as an engine supplier to several Formula One teams, the
highlight being the winning of both the driver’s and constructors’
championship titles for four consecutive years from 1988 through 1991
with McLaren Honda and legendary drivers, Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna. In total this highly successful relationship won Honda eight world titles, 44 checkered flags, 53 pole positions and 30 fastest laps over a span of 80 races. Honda also won the 1987 Formula One World Driver’s Championship with Nelson Piquet driving a Williams.
2000 – 2005: Participated as an engine supplier and joint developer of the chassis with the BAR Formula One Team.
2006 – 2008: Purchased the BAR Formula One Team and then participated as an “all
Honda” team manufacturing both their own engine and chassis.

1964 - Honda RA271 F1 race car

Alain Prost with Ayrton Senna in pursuit

Nelson Piquet in the Williams Honda

2008 - Honda F1 Earth Car