Honda: 1963-2008 in videos part 1

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Ayrton Senna and Honda were a potent combination in the early 1990s
Ayrton Senna and Honda were a potent combination in the early 1990s

Guest writer Journeyer charts the history of the three ages of Honda in F1 in this two-part video series.

Honda’s sudden withdrawal from the sport has shocked F1. Honda was one of the few companies that held motorsport in high regard, entering F1 only three years after building their first car. Honda’s rich heritage makes its departure from Formula 1 especially sad. Here’s a look back at their time in the sport.

1963-1968: Honda had 3 stints in F1, and its first was as a full-fledged constructor. In this regard, they were relatively successful, winning at Mexico in 1965 and at Monza in 1967. But the death of Jo Schlesser in one of their cars prompted them to suddenly withdraw at the end of 1968.

Here’s a couple of great videos I found from Surtees’ Monza 1967 win which I want to share here.

1983: Honda’s 2nd stint in F1 began quietly, as an engine supplier to the F1 start-up Spirit. But the bigger teams saw that the Honda engines were pretty nifty. It then got its first major customer, Williams, in 1984.

1987: Honda were on the up and up, having won the constructors title with Williams the year before and now supplying a second team: Lotus. It was at Lotus where they began their partnership with Ayrton Senna, and they were instrumental to getting Senna a McLaren seat.

But in the meantime, Silverstone was a remarkable race for Honda. At the race where they made their F1 return four years prior, two Williams-Hondas were competing for the race win and the championship. We all know how this one ended.

1988: Given Honda’s state in the 2007 and 2008, it’s easy to forget how dominant they were with McLaren two decades before. Senna got away slow? No problem – the Brazilian’s driving prowess, plus that mega Honda engine, equaled to a stunning comeback and a brilliant McLaren-Honda one-two on Honda’s home turf. Honda won the constructors title with McLaren in the next three years.

1992: Having ruled the roost for 5 years, Honda finally ran into a foe it couldn’t beat: Renault. The French engines were powering the Williams cars, and would become the dominant engine of the 1990s. The Japanese marque sensed it was time to go. However, they left on a winning note, thanks to Gerhard Berger in Australia.

So what happened next? Well, Honda left the sport… sort of. What do I mean? Find out tomorrow. :)

This is a guest article by Journeyer. If you want to write a guest article for F1 Fanatic you can find all the information you need here.

Posted on Categories Articles in full, F1 teams (active), F1 Video, HondaTags , , ,

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  • 4 comments on “Honda: 1963-2008 in videos part 1”

    1. TommyBellingham
      8th December 2008, 8:33

      HAHA I love the ‘SCHUMACHER IS GOING TO WIN’ bit in the last video!

    2. Ahhh these videos just jolted my memory of the days when you could often see the condensation coming off the back wing of an F1 car… and the chequered flag guy coming onto the circuit waving and swirling the flag frenetically like a practised gymnast to mark the end of the race. Great stuff!

    3. I was checking out Honda’s 1965 Mexico victory and was struck by the entry list. Among the Brits and Italians are Swiss, Austrian, and Mexican drivers — and four Americans. Three Americans actually finished in the points. There were no Germans, Japanese, Finns, or Poles. Amazing how the International flavor has changed.

    4. Just to nit-pick here but the McLaren that Senna is driving in the top picture is actually from 1992, not 1991. Nice article which reminds me of the good times;)

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