VF1blog: Honda to announce F1 comeback
Amidst all the criticism on Pirelli since the four-stopped Spanish race, there are reports emerging that Honda is about to announce the much awaited comeback to Formula One this week.
When Auto Motor und Sport reported Mclaren’s optional clause on the contract to stay put with Mercedes after the end of 2014 ran out this April, the speculations of a possible return for Honda was further instigated.
As I mentioned earlier in March, the return of Honda could certainly be fruitful for F1 as the most-vaunted ‘green switch’ plays by the idea of captivating more volume manufacturer to the paddock. Nonetheless, sadly we have to live with the fact that Cosworth would end its relationship with F1 at the end of this season.
According to Bernama, the Japanese news agency Jiji Press reported an anonymous source stating that the announcement will take place in a press conference any time this week. It goes as long as saying, Honda’s President Takanobu Ito will herald the arrival of Honda as an engine supplier to Mclaren for 2015.
The source said, ”Honda has not officially denied these reports,”. “Please prepare yourself for the announcement.”
Mclaren decided to switch from a rather successful TAG Porsche alliance to the Japanese Honda engines for 1988. It was a rather logical move as Williams-Honda scored nearly twice as many points as the Mclaren duo the previous year and lifted the final jewel for Nelson Piquet.
For the next four years, Mclaren were literally on top of the tree in every race bout, courtesy of the technical assets and monstrous Honda RA power units, and captivated millions to witness the greatest duo ever fought for honours in our sport.
Mclaren has a miserable campaign already this year while having to pay for engines for the first time since the Mclaren-Mercedes bonding in 1995. The Woking based squad is expected to receive free 1.6 litre V6 Honda engines in the first year of Mclaren-Honda revival.
Mclaren can neither opt for Ferrari or Renault powertrain and reportedly the Mercedes engines are costlier with a price tag of € 20m for its basic package. Renault engines need an even greater spending as well. So the prospect of Honda returning to F1 is purely logical in my view to not just help out Mclaren but a few other midfield teams with an attractive engine offer.
However, Mclaren Team Principal Martin Whitmarsh denied rumours about the elapsed option in the contract with Mercedes.
“The discussions about ’15 are between myself and Mercedes and not for newspapers,” quoted Sky Sports F1.
The re-appearance of Honda will help in spicing up the ‘Hybrid-Turbo’ F1 era and if that spurs any success perhaps we could see Toyota or any other OEMs making a lavish comeback in the near future!
Author: Suren F1
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