Formula 1 News

Honda engineers already at McLaren - report

It's been rumored for a while that the japanese manufacturer might come back to sport as a engine supplier.
Sunday, March 3, 2013

March 3rd, 2013 (GMM).- McLaren is yet to sign an engine deal for the new turbo V6 era beginning in 2014, according to Germany's Auto Motor und Sport. The Japanese car and engine manufacturer has a wealth of experience that includes Formula 1.

"Mercedes is pushing for a decision in the next days," said correspondent Michael Schmidt.

The successful, title-winning McLaren-Mercedes partnership dates back almost two decades, but with Mercedes now with its own team, McLaren is no longer the 'works' partner.

According to Schmidt, the solution could be Honda.

"The question is whether the Japanese are coming in 2014 or not until 2015," he said.

"It is a poorly kept secret that McLaren is talking with Honda."

In fact, Schmidt relayed paddock rumours that Honda already has engineers working at McLaren's Woking headquarters, with a final board decision about whether the manufacturer will return to F1 after a half-decade absence "pending".

A Honda engine set on a McLaren will bring to an end the partnership with Mercedes, which in turn, might be healthy given the German team now competes directly a chassis builder. It is very possibly that the German company would be willing for forfeit the agreement.

Honda started as a Formula 1 team in in the 60s, but they are mostly known by their successes in the 80s during the Turbo era.

The famous MP4-4, the car that took 15 out 16 victories in 1988 on the hands of Alain Prost and Ayrton Sennna, was powered by a Honda Turbo engine. Williams also had a successful time while carrying the Honda engines in the 80s.

Then came a silent period until the Japanese maker came solely as engine supplier for BAR in 2000. In 2006 Honda decided to purchase the rest of the shares to become Honda Racing Team.

Then again, the company decided to retire from the sport (the 2008 crisis had a hand on this), and after an interesting period, it was management -lead by Ross Brawn- who bought-out the outfit, and with this Honda finished its business in Formula 1.

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