Honda Takes Another Step Toward Formula 1 Return
- Honda, which will return to Formula 1 in 2015 after a six-season absence, announced a new operations facility in Milton Keynes, United Kingdom.
- The Japanese automaker will once again partner with McLaren.
- Honda will also base its trackside support operations from its new European office.
LONDON — Honda, which will return to Formula 1 in 2015 after a six-season absence, announced a new operations facility in Milton Keynes, United Kingdom.
Honda, which has a heritage in F1 as both a constructor and engine supplier, confirmed in May that it will partner with the storied McLaren team after the 2014 season as supplier of a new engine and energy recovery system. The Japanese company will replace Mercedes-Benz as McLaren's engine supplier.
The new facility will be based in the engine and research center of Mugen Euro Co. Ltd., where Honda will begin operations in June of next year.
"With the confirmation of a new F1 operation base in U.K., our preparation to join F1 has become more specific and concrete," said Yasuhisa Arai, chief officer of motorsports for Honda R&D. "To meet and exceed the expectations of our fans, we will accelerate our development to bring back the unique Honda engine sound onto the track."
A press release stated that the new facility "will be the European frontline operation for Honda's F1 participation." Power units will be developed at the Honda R&D center in Tochigi, Japan, and maintained at the facility in Great Britain.
Honda will also base its trackside support operations from its new European office.
McLaren partnered with Honda from 1988-'92, winning F1 championships with drivers Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost in the first four years of the relationship.
F1 moves to new power systems beginning in 2014, with turbocharged V6s with hybrid energy recovery systems replacing the current normally aspirated V8s. F1 teams have experimented with various energy technologies over the past several seasons.
Edmunds says: F1's move toward a platform that is more environmentally friendly and more relevant to passenger car development was pivotal to technology-driven Honda.