May 16, 2013, 8:37 AM EDT
Honda confirmed its return to Formula One from 2015 with McLaren, renewing the partnership that was one of F1’s most successful in its past.
The 1.6L turbocharged engine formula that premieres next year has piqued Honda’s interest for its latest return to the sport. The manufacturer pulled out at the end of 2008.
“Ever since its establishment, Honda has been a company which grows by taking on challenges in racing,” said Takanobu Ito, President and CEO of Honda Motor Company.
“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.”
Martin Whitmarsh, McLaren’s team principal and Group CEO, added his thoughts on the return.
“It’s fantastic news for everyone who loves Formula One to be able to welcome Honda back,” he said. “Together, we’re about to embark on a new and extremely exciting chapter in McLaren’s history. Like McLaren, Honda is a company with motor racing woven into the fabric of its heritage.”
McLaren is going through the midst of major change as an organization; title sponsor Vodafone leaves at the end of this year and now Mercedes-Benz, its engine partner since 1995 (although a customer since 2009), will end its relationship after a 20-year period at the end of 2014. Honda had been rumored for a return back in March.
This is not an exclusive partnership, and Honda will be able and willing to assist other teams as well, according to Autosport.