Honda returns to formula 1 and hopes to return to glorious times together with its former successful partner mclaren. The japanese will supply the traditional british team with engines from 2015, taking over from german manufacturer mercedes. "I am delighted to announce that honda and mclaren will soon begin a new chapter in their legendary formula one partnership," mclaren team principal martin whitmarsh said at a press conference in tokyo on thursday.
"It’s a gross pleasure to see honda back in formula one," bernie ecclestone stressed. The british formula one chief executive and fia president jean todt have been instrumental in the honda comeback. Honda’s engine president takanobu ito, in a statement ied by mclaren, expressed his gratitude to the two most important officials in the royal class for their "great understanding" and their "cooperation".
Honda left the costly formula 1 at the end of 2008, and the following year toyota and bmw also dropped out. Last season saw the end of the hrt racing team, and other smaller teams are practically always fighting for survival. With the new old partnership, a touch of myth in red and white is once again wafting through the paddock. "Mclaren-honda: i know how much passion, success and pride there is in these two names," emphasized former honda and current mclaren driver jenson button.
Mclaren and honda shared 44 grand prix victories and eight world championship titles in the 1980s and 1990s. In the 1988 season, the two mclaren drivers ayrton senna and alain prost won no less than 15 of the 16 races. Only gerhard berger in a ferrari was able to break into the phalanx back then. "The names of mclaren and honda are synonymous with success," whitmarsh said. With the return of honda, another success story will come to an end at mclaren. The racing team from woking in great britain has been supplied by mercedes since 1995. The end was in sight. So far, mclaren-mercedes has won 78 grand prix and four world championship titles. It is nevertheless a piquant fact that in the first year of the changeover to the new v6 turbocharged engine, mclaren, which is currently languishing, is being powered by a mercedes engine.