Honda confirm F1 return with McLaren in 2015

2015 F1 season

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Honda have officially announced they will return to Formula One as an engine supplier to McLaren in the 2015 season.

Honda president and CEO Takanobu Ito said: “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.

“We have the greatest respect for the FIA’s decision to introduce these new regulations that are both highly challenging but also attractive to manufacturers that pursue environmental technologies and to Formula One Group, which has developed F1 into a high value, top car racing category supported by enthusiastic fans.

“We would like to express our sincere gratitude to Mr Jean Todt, the President of FIA and to Mr Bernie Ecclestone, the CEO of Formula One Group who showed great understanding and cooperation to help realize our participation in F1 racing.”

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh said: “Together during the eighties and nineties McLaren-Honda won 44 Grands Prix and eight world championships. In 1988 we created the most successful F1 car of all time, the all-conquering MP4-4, driven to victory 15 times out of 16 by Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost.”

“Mclaren-Honda are about to embark on a new and adventure together”, he added. “I’m delighted to welcome Honda back to the sport.”

Honda will return in the second year of F1’s new V6 turbo engine regulations. Whitmarsh’s described Honda’s experiencing building turbocharged engines as being “unequalled by any other car manufacturer currently competing in Formula 1.”

Honda last competed in F1 five years ago with their own team based at the Brackley factory in Northamptonshire which is now used by Mercedes.

Their last three-year stint as an F1 chassis builder and engine constructor yielded a win in the 2006 Hungarian Grand Prix which was followed by two years of conspicuous under-performance. Honda abruptly pulled the plug on its programme at the end of 2008.

Honda’s first foray into Formula One came with a full works programme between 1964 and 1968. During that time Richie Ginther won the Mexican Grand Prix for the team in 1965 and John Surtees added a second victory in Italy two years later. But the death of Jo Schlesser in one of their cars in 1968 led to their departure.

They returned as an engine supplier in 1983 and began an enormously successful period with Williams and McLaren during which time Honda-engined cars and their drivers won a total of 11 championships.

Following their departure at the end of 1992 they returned ten years later supplying engines to Jordan and BAR, the latter ultimately forming the basis for their short-lived team.

The deal to supply engines to McLaren from 2015 will mark an end to the team’s relationship with Mercedes, which began in 1995.

“It’s appropriate to recognise that until the end of 2014 we’ll maintain a full commitment to our existing and long-standing partner, Mercedes-Benz, for which we retain the utmost respect and with whom we intend to continue to work diligently and professionally,” Whitmarsh added.

“McLaren-Mercedes has so far won an incredible 78 grands prix and four world championships. We aim to cap our long-standing partnership with the same ambition and resolve with which we began it: namely, to keep winning.”

Honda credited its return to Formula One’s planned engine regulations change.

“Throughout its history, Honda has passionately pursued improvements in the efficiency of the internal combustion engine and in more recent years, the development of pioneering energy management technologies such as hybrid systems,” it said in a statement. “Participation in F1 under these new regulations will encourage even further technological progress in both these areas.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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134 comments on “Honda confirm F1 return with McLaren in 2015”

  1. That’s exciting news, I wonder if they plan to supply engines to any other teams, too.

  2. So Mclaren-Honda from 2015 it is! I wish I had answers to the following questions as well. Will this announcement have a bearing on the McLaren-Mercedes pairing for 2013 and 2014 seasons? And will there be more teams going for their engines?

    1. I don’t see why Mercedes would put up their prices for 2014. They’ve had a good relationship with McLaren to date, and putting up the price for a one-year deal would only give them a bad image.

      1. The price for that deal certainly will not change, as the deal is done and sealed already a while ago.

      2. @prisoner-monkeys and @bascb I was wondering whether this new announcement would impact the relationship between McLaren and Mercedes in that their co-operation. May be my sentence was not clear in that post.

        1. Actually I did understand it that way @seehorse, so in answer to that question – yes it will definitely influence their cooperation.

          I have seen several reports in German AMuS, that Mercedes have already taken pretty fargoing steps to make sure that McLaren (and even more so Honda) gets as little access to engine data as is viable. And it will surely lead to some constrained moments in the coming months and year. On the other hand, ever since Mercedes bought into Brawn and severed its ties with McLaren it was clear that their relationship was breaking down, poaching the TD and Hamilton from McLaren was already a clear sign they are in tough competition.

          1. sorry that was meant to be @seahorse

          2. Thanks a lot for clearing my doubt @bascb :)

  3. Don’t care.

  4. Well, color me surprised. (No, not really.)

    The big question for me is… who will be the B-team? I think they will struggle without one (as Renault, Mercedes, and Ferrari all have at least one). More teams = more mileage = more data = more development.

    1. Force India? With the McLaren electronics it’s a possibility.

      1. Not to mention that would actually be a return to Honda if you trace the teams roots back to Jordan F1.

        1. Yeah, then Honda can ditch them halfway through a contract, sending the team into a terminal decline, and it’ll be just like the mid-2000s all over again!

      2. @pielighter Force India have already agreed an extended Merc engine deal from 2014-onwards.

      3. Force India already signed a longer term deal with Mercedes to get both drivetrain and gearbox etc from Mercedes, I think we can safely rule them out.

    2. I’m putting my money on Caterham with and outside chance of Sauber or Williams.

      1. Caterham also works with Renault/Alpine outside F1.
        I think it’ll be Force India.

        1. Force India has already been confirmed as having Mercedes engines in 2014. With McLaren moving to Honda in 2015, Force India’s standing with Mercedes will be increased by default. mercedes won’t want to let that go.

        2. Caterham also works with Coswoth outside of F1 as well, just like the majority of Lotus street cars are Toyota powered. The McLaren F1 was BMW powered yet their actual F1 cars were Honda, Ford, Peugeot & Mercedes powered during that time.

        3. @verstappen

          As it was said before – Force India already signed long-term agreement with Mercedes.

          I tip Sauber.

        4. I think Lotus is a feasible option.

    3. Well, if they can make their engines relatively cheap, it can be a real outcome for the current Renault-customers with money issues: Lotus, Williams and Caterham. The latter could become Renault’s base team: Pic, Total sponsors and a former Renault man as their CEO are indications of that.

      That would leave us with Lotus and Williams. From a historic point of view: Williams and Lotus have both run with Honda engines before (though the Enstone team never did). Wouldn’t it be great to see McLaren-Honda and Williams-Honda competing against each other once again?

      Aside from the Renault customers: Force India could potentially be a Honda customer as they are currently using McLaren products.

      1. Only Williams Honda did not really compete with McLaren Honda, did they? Williams went to Renault when McLaren took Honda from them.

        But given the prices for the Renaults, I would agree that Williams and Lotus should be there. Maybe Sauber as well, I think I heard rumours they are talking about it.

        1. @bascb I’d agree with Williams and Lotus, but I think Williams is more likely (just a gut feel).

        2. Only Williams Honda did not really compete with McLaren Honda, did they?

          @bascb lol, I wanted to say both “against each other” and “once again”, but adding those two things gives the exact opposite of what I wanted to say!

      2. I’ll rather see full works team like Audi vs Peugeot vs Ferrari vs Mercedes than this half breeds.

        1. *these half

        2. The dream would be Aston Martin vs Ferrari vs Porsche…
          I know, impossible, but that excites me than rather Red Bull Renualt and McLaren Honda.

        3. Then we end up with Formula 1 pre-1960: the Italian car manufacturers (Ferrari, Maserati, Alfa Romeo, Lancia) vs. the Germans (Mercedes, Auto-Union) vs. the French vs. the British. Personally, I think it’s great this isn’t the case anymore, because it results in very sporadic F1 appearances: the main company can decide when to stop the F1 project whenever they want, while privateers need the competition to survive as a company.

          1. @andae23

            I disagree with your point considering how privateers also sporadic appearances with the exception of Williams and McLaren. Engines suppliers too.

          2. *also have

          3. @ivano I’d say an engine supplier withdrawing from F1 is less severe than an entire F1 team: without engine supplier the team just starts looking for a new team (for instance Brawn in 2009 adopted Mercedes engines to replace the Hondas). If the team decides to quit, there will be no replacement team ready to step in.

          4. @andae23

            I see your point there, but I prefer teams that make their own chassis and engines and would rather see car brands, than Red Bull or HRT which are just ridiculous.

      3. What about Marussia? They have a technical agreement with McLaren and use (I think) McLaren gearboxes

        1. Could be a possibility, but it begs the question: what will they do in 2014?

        2. A small team like Marussia can’t afford the huge cost of shifting to an engine supplier for just one season and then moving to another. It would burn their pockets, especially considering the huge costs of these new formula turbocharged engines.

        3. I think Marussia-Ferrari is looking more likely, since I believe Ferrari are looking to expand their customer base and Marussia looks like one of their potential customers with a Ferrari development driver being with the team and all…

      4. I don’t believe Force India will use Honda just due to the extension of their contract with Mercedes, so I would go with Catherham or Williams. Possible Sauber.Marussia has to change in 2014 and will probably have a multiple year contact with whomever they sign with so it would be a few years till they could switch to Honda. What I am interested in is where Kobayashi could be in all of this, if at all. Maybe he will be brought back, maybe with Caterham, or Williams if either goes with Honda engines at some point ? Another part I found a bit funny was the mention of Ecclestone as being supportive…all I have ever read or heard is his total lack of support for the new engines.

      5. @andae23

        Red Bull is currently using McLaren products (alternators)…. :)

        1. @jcost you know what I mean :P

  5. A McLaren which isnt silver….will take time to get used to that!

    1. If it weren’t for the fact that Vodafone is leaving (or appears to be leaving) I wouldn’t be so fast on the “they’re gonna drop the Silver (Pewter?)” bandwagon as Vodafone cars in all forms of motorsports over the last 6 or so years have been that Silver/Pewter/Chrome color.

      1. @fisha695 – McLaren have already confirmed that Vodafone is leaving the team at the end of this year.

        1. Maybe in 2015 it will be known as

          Telmex McLaren-Honda F1 Team

    2. Confirmation of a new works engine deal.

      It might have been the worst-kept secret in F1 but it still nice to finally get some good news from Mclaren this season!

      1. @calum I don’t really see it as being “good news” for McLaren. It’s an immensely risky move. Honda will be 20 races + testing behind other engine manufacturers, in terms of meaningful running and testing, not just on a dyno. I honestly think this season marks the start of a McLaren slump that will continue for a few years yet.

        The “new” car (this season’s), of which little can be carried over to the 2014 car, thus wasting resources throughout this year on fixing the current problems. [I think they should focus on 2014 instead of fixing this car].

        The departures of Hamilton and Paddy Lowe, but the latter is far far more important. McLaren have had a few seasons in recent memory where they start off poorly but develop their way back. Lowe was always there to help, but not any more. This further puts a dampener on this season for them (in my opinion), as well as future ones.

        Then first season with the new regs 2014,- A pretty much brand new car. But less engine-chassis synergy time/information than the works teams (and presumably RBR).. then make that even less due to Merc being cautious of McLaren letting Honda know secrets the following year!

        And finally, 2015 Honda enters the sport playing catch up. McLaren will need a brand new chassis to fit the Honda engine, again taking resources away from other facets of car development, and likely ruining/making-null some of the data they had collected in 2014. Thus, starting 2015 again playing catchup.

        Basically I can’t see McLaren with, or near a championship until 2016.

        1. @calum @timi

          They might be at a disadvantage but how do we know that they (Honda) don’t already have an engine developed? It would be a big gamble for McLaren if Honda don’t already have a prototype in test to demonstrate what they can deliver. In theory – if they don’t officially become an engine supplier until 2015 then there is nothing preventing them from retrofitting an engine into a 2012 McLaren and spending as much of 2014 testing privately as they like?

          I see this as an an advantage, especially when they will witness all the issues raised by McLaren running the 2014 Merc engine

          Honda could turn up and blow everyone away. Albeit – given McLaren’s apparent odd-numbered years bad luck (2009, 2011, 2013), 2015 might not go well purely due to starting with a ‘dodgy’ car

          1. I doubt they’d be allowed to “retrofit an engine into a 2012 McLaren and spending as much of 2014 testing privately as they like”, thus no advantage.

            And I highly doubt they have an engine made up to the regs, that is as far down the road as the other engine manufacturers. They definitely didn’t draw up plans last night, but I think they’re having to play catch-up.

        2. @timi

          The departures of Hamilton and Paddy Lowe, but the latter is far far more important. McLaren have had a few seasons in recent memory where they start off poorly but develop their way back. Lowe was always there to help, but not any more.

          Right, so where exactly was Paddy Lowe when these poor cars were designed initially? You make it sound as if he had nothing to do with the initial design and rode in on his shiny white horse to fix the problems after the season starts.

          As far as I’m concerned, Paddy Lowe is over rated. He’s been there for years and has overseen the development of all the cars – good and bad. Quite why he receives all the praise for developing a bad car into a good car and doesn’t get slated for developing the bad car to begin with is beyond me!

        3. What makes you think Honda will be playing catch up, they certainly had the best turbo cars when they were last in a Mac. I think they’ll be up and running fine. Honda wouldn’t come back if they didn’t think they could produce a decent engine

          1. @sonia54 I don’t base judgements in F1 on things that occupied over 20 years ago. They may have had the best engines back then, but in recent history, they most definitely haven’t. *cough* BAR and Jordan GP.

            @nick101 Because Nick, there are mitigating circumstances that may lead to producing a bad car, i.e. bad wind-tunnel-track correlation. In the factory, the team could think their car is quick, but on track it isn’t.
            Whereas you’re not going to catch-up with other teams cars over the course of the season due to positive mitigating circumstances. Season development would most likely it would be down to good leadership, and direction. Even “luck” is unlikely to give performance in such a precise sport, but bad-luck or errors can lead to exponential lack of speed. Paddy should not be blamed for the bad cars, nor over-lauded for in-season development. But I think it’s something worth noting.

        4. @timi, the engines will be identical in size to the centimetre, Honda will not be catching up, they will be developing against a known benchmark. What I don’t understand is how the FIA intend to equalise the engines, will a significantly better Honda have to detune or will the others be allowed a development window to catch up.

          1. @Hohum Ah, fair enough then. However, there’s still those 20 races and testing to consider.

            Interesting question regarding the engines though. I do wonder what the FIA would do if an engine was a clear few seconds faster than everybody else.

    3. Personally I still haven’t got used to it.

  6. Its nice to see the 4th Engine Manufacturer back in…

    But they have a huge disadvantage by not coming straight in from 2014.. As I understand the rules there are point allocations to how much U can develop the Engine over a Season and the Allocations decrease in the 2nd year and 3rd years( 2015 and 2016) irrespective of whether U are newcomer or not..
    So Honda will have as much room to develop their Engine as Ferrari, Renault and Mercedes in their 2nd year come 2015..

    1. True, however I also feel they have an advantage. Renault, Mercedes and Ferrari are developing an engine “in the dark” They want to get the most out of it ofcourse, but they will not know if the most is for instance 20 horsepower less then the next guy, or if theirs is more fueledfficient etc etc. Honda will have benchmarks, they will know what the competition is doing, and so they will have clear tagets to beat with their engine. Sometimes when you are developung something new you get in a certain development direction convinced it’s the best,only to find out later that another sollution would be better, but you were blind to it. Honda will get to see what’s out there, what’s [possible, and then direct their own efforts accordingly

      1. Surely.. It can be either a negative or a very Positive impact, as they can Analyse the 2014 Engines (especially the Mercedes Engine).. We will see how it turns out…

        Btw, Jenson Button has just tweeted “Welcome back Honda :) exciting news this morning about our new engine supplier and partner for 2015… 頑張って Honda!”

        What are the odds He won’t be at McLaren come 2015??

        1. What are the odds He won’t be at McLaren come 2015??

          Why would McLaren get rid of him?

        2. Jenson has strong ties with Japan and with Honda. It wouldnt suprise me if he was still at Mclaren in 2015 because of this.

          1. Jenson will possibly win another title in the McLaren in 2020. The year after Honda dropped out ;)

          2. @sjm

            Maybe things go even better than expectations and their partnership is strengthened and Honda decides to put a Japanese driver with stronger ties to the country than Jenson… who knows we will see Kobayashi paired with Perez again?

  7. Good news, but I think it’ll be sometime before McLaren will be at the front, challenging. 2013 is looking to be a difficult year for McLaren, and 2014 could possibly be their worst year, seeing that next year’s car revolves around the new engines, and McLaren will be Mercedes’s priority no. 3 (behind Force India too). And I’m not sure whether McLaren can repeat the 1988 formula, where their first year of Honda partnership ended with them winning 15 out of 16 wins.
    Let’s hope that McLaren can get back to winning ways soon. And I’m a Ferrari fan, incidentally.

    1. next year’s car revolves around the new engines, and McLaren will be Mercedes’s priority no. 3

      And how, exactly, is that going to affect McLaren? They will be buying exactly the same engines as Force India, and both will be using exactly the same engines as Mercedes. And they will know the specifications of the engines in advance – the regulations were first published in August 2011 – so they will be able to build their car around it.

      1. Same engine, might be, but not same technical support, I suppose.

  8. Mclaren aside, this is great news for the health of F1. Three suppliers was too few and just one step away from disaster. The V6 turbo decision now appears to be a good one… take note Luca.

    1. I’d really like to see Toyota come back too. Just as an engine supplier of course.

      1. And what would be of those teams with wind tunnel problems? Which one would they rent? :)

        1. Presumably still the Toyota one, since engines don’t need to be tested in a wind tunnel.

  9. Great news that Honda will return. And who knows this might trigger some others to come back or come into the f1 arena (toyota?).
    It was getting a bit low on engine suppliers, this is just what we needed and that they are coming in with a big team makes it extra exciting.

  10. Very nice… Now Mclaren just need a new “Senna” to get back the Mojo…

    Who has that potential? I would Mclaren really needs an exceptional personality, real world champion material… Da Costa from the new generation? Sincerely, all of them right now- the new batch- just look so “vanilla”, I can’t see anyone with the potential to add to the Mythos of the Mclaren Honda legacy…

    1. Please disregard the ” I would” before. Speed writing.

      You know who I wouldn’t mind seeing coming back with Honda? Kamui Kobayashi. That would be interesting…

      1. KK is a Toyota development I doubt he will be in the fray.

        Takuma Sato is a Honda backed driver…but there is no chance of him coming back
        The only Japanese driver who is amounting to anything in formula racing right now is Kimiya Sato, who leads the Auto GP series now….I dont know who backs him.

        1. @jaymenon10

          KK is a Toyota development I doubt he will be in the fray.

          I think you meant Kazuki Nakajima. Kobayashi was driving for Sauber, using Ferrari power.

          Takuma Sato is a Honda backed driver…but there is no chance of him coming back

          Sato has said he has no interest in retrning to Formla 1.

          The only Japanese driver who is amounting to anything in formula racing right now is Kimiya Sato, who leads the Auto GP series now….I dont know who backs him.

          Honda have never demanded a Japanese driver.

    2. It’s a shame Bruno Senna & Nicolas Prost didn’t quite live up to their names…

      Neither are today’s retro-themed teams – Williams-Renault kind of need a new Mansell (Lewis Hamilton’s the closest thing, but what are the chances of that?), and Lotus-Renault’s about where the old Lotus team was with Senna. Maybe they should just look forward and not back!

      Are there any rumours of Honda using sportscars to develop the engine? There are bigger Honda stickers on the cars they power this year, and F1 engines will be allowed in the new World Endurance Championship rules next year…

      1. @tomsk that is a very interesting proposition: if so, waiting until 2015 could prove to be a brilliant move!

    3. @sergio-perez There are several young talents in junior formulae. McLaren have Stoffel Vandoorne and Kevin Magnussen, and the former is incredibly talented. Another guy not in any young driver programme is Marvin Kirchhofer. The German youngster won the ADAC Formel Masters last year in his first season in cars, and is leading this year’s German F3 championship with quite a margin. He should be in the radar of a few teams at the end of 2013..

      1. Like I say every year for F3 drivers, let me see them in Macau. I can spot “them” (the “standouts”, I mean) in a couple of corners here…

    4. Frijns.

    5. It’s gonna be Kevin Magnussen!

    6. They need Robin Frijns :)

  11. whitmarsh has an entire paragraph on senna, prost and the mp4-4, and 2 very brief sentences on the future – perfectly consistent with their recent form, even before the 2013 launch. the factory from the future loves living in the past, while the present is a disaster. they can’t possibly believe this, but the message they convey is that a honda badge is the ticket to the glory days all over again.

    that’s a negative, now for 2 positives:
    the more participants in a sport the better, so welcome back honda

    this will probably extend jb’s career, given his japanese marketability

  12. Jared H (@thejaredhuang)
    16th May 2013, 9:11

    Time to bring back tobacco sponsorships! Can someone definitively answer how McLaren switched to silver, was it from the West sponsorship? I really want them to race an orange livery even if its for once race.

    That 555 Honda for the 2006 Chinese GP was great looking

    1. Time to bring back tobacco sponsorships!
      You can’t be serious.

      Can someone definitively answer how McLaren switched to silver, was it from the West sponsorship?

      It came two years into the Mercedes deal, when Malboro moved to Ferrari. McLaren needed new colours, and with Mercedes’ presence within the team, they picked up the black and silver.

    2. The silver colour was due to the West sponsorship in 1997 @thejaredhuang. This turned chrome in 2006 with the MP4-21 for sponsorship reasons (oh shiny). The Mercedes connection probably helped maintain the same paint job, but as far as I understand it’s not Chrome/Silver because of Mercedes.

      No doubt Honda would like them to change it in 2015 anyway to remove any perceived association with Merc. I’m guessing McLaren are due a change anyway, it’s getting a bit boring now.

  13. One question: The old HondaF1 factory in UK now belongs to Mercedes. So where’s the development and manufacturing process is going to happen?..I guess in California where they produce Indycar V6 motors.

    1. @sushant008 A place called Tochigi in Japan..

  14. Do Honda make tyres? *cough cough*

  15. I’m actually ridiculously happy at that news – more manufacturers is just what we need!

  16. Great News for Formula 1. A big manufacturer like Honda coming back is very healthy for F1.

    Now if we can get the tyres correct because all these developments, commitments and budgets being dictated by tyres is not correct. For example if a car got great Engines, ERS sytems and competitive aerodynamics but then unable to fight at the front just because a small team with less budget and commitment got the tyres correct and is winning every race is not correct.

    There should be a balance which reward all 1) Engines 2) Aero 3) tyres and not just one area.

    BTW when is Lewis Hamilton’s contract ending. He would love to drive a Mclaren-Honda.

  17. Cue hundreds of people shrieking “McLaren-Honda! Winnnaarr!” like sheep. Honda haven’t been a desirable engine supplier for 20 years. Their last engine, in the words of a Brawn engineer, “couldn’t pull the skin off a rice pudding”. You might as well get excited about Ford because the dfv was successful.

    This is a stupid announcement from McLaren. They’re going into the first season of a new formula with one engine supplier, then changing to a new, unproved supplier a year later who will be missing a year’s worth of real world testing data, whose recent track record is at best questionable, and whose design decisions and operating parameters will require considerable mental adjustment within the team’s personnel.

    Like this year’s car, McLaren seem determined to make changes when they don’t have to, and where there’s little advantage.

    1. @hairs
      The turbo aspect and the fact Honda are giving Mclaren a works partnership is why quite a lot of people are really happy with this deal. It’s Mclaren’s best bet now they are competing against 3 teams with full works support (Ferrari, Mercedes and RedBull-Renault) – the fact it is 1 year after the rule change is not ideal, but they couldn’t remain a Mercedes customer, they had to get their own works deal to be on a level playing field with the other 3 major competitors.

      And Mclaren more often than not, are good with aero, Honda know turbos – It’s a promising partnership (which has worked in the past).

    2. @hairs@tomsk has raised an interesting question: what if they used Le Mans as a test bed? That way since they haven’t gone straight into F1 they will also have much more reign in developing the engine based on what others are doing.

      I think it could prove to be a very good move on Hondas part.

    3. @hairs – Do you honestly think McLaren would have switched to Honda if they weren’t confident they could get a decent engine?

    4. Mercedes was probably well aware of this deal being on quite a while ago, actually AMuS reported that McLaren had already ran out of their call option on the Mercedes engines for 2015 by now, and Mercedes has already taken steps to make sure Mclaren and Honda get as little from their data as is possible.

      I think it was clear that it would end as soon as Merceded looked at buying Brawn in 2009, McLaren are far to proud a bunch to be left as a customer team for long (must bring back memories of a not so great 1993 – and not even a chance of a Donington like race this year. Hm, they should hope Honda does not bring them the same kind of “success” as Peugeot did then!)

      1. The McLaren-Mercedes partnership has been reported to have been in trouble for at least four years now. That’s why Mercedes bought up their own team rather than increasing their stake in McLaren, as might have been logical. They have seen out the existing contract but it’s been clear for a while that the deal would end after 2014.

        1. If they were just waiting to the end of their deal with McLaren then they would have quit after this year, yet they did sign the 1-year extension concerning next year.
          So it can’t be that messed up. Not as messed up as the car they’re producing anyway. :P

  18. I want MacLaren-Honda with Senna (Bruno) and Prost (Nicholas) :P

    1. *McLaren

    2. Why not? It’s not like McLaren need World Championship points or anything.

    3. Might as well want McLaren-Mercedes with Alonso (Xabi) and Hamilton (Josh) :P

  19. Lucas Wilson (@full-throttle-f1)
    16th May 2013, 10:39

    If Force India becomes Honda’s B-team “Force India-Honda” does not sound right does it?

    1. Lol, I was just thinking that but then again; what the hey :-)

    2. We don’t have to worry about that @full-throttle-f1, Force India have already announced they have a long-term deal with Mercedes ;)

      I think we’re more likely to see a return of Williams-Honda (although the Renault deal is only recent, they have expressed a want to supply less teams). So Williams-Honda vs McLaren Honda? Sounds good to me!

      They’ll have some tough competition from Mercedes, eh, Mercedes; Ferrari, eh, Ferrari and Infinti Red Bull Racing-Renault (god, that’s a mouthful) I reckon though!

      1. Infinti Red Bull Racing-Renault (god, that’s a mouthful)

        If you think that’s busy try saying fast: Pepsi Max Crew Ford Performance Racing. Some Aussie supercar drivers have a tough job to do when naming their workplace :).
        Williams would be suckers to change Renault for such a big unknown like Honda. If I was in charge of a non-manufacturer team I would definetly choose Ferrari engines for 2014-onwards (if I could afford it of course).

        1. @klaas

          If you think that’s busy try saying fast: Pepsi Max Crew Ford Performance Racing.

          That’s got to be a difficult one to subtly drop into a PR speech!

          I think they may have to change from Renault, but I don’t honestly think Honda will do badly: they have experience with turbos in F1 and similar turbos in Indycar and they may very well be able to use Le Mans as a test bed for developing the engine. All the ingredients are there for making a good engine IMO…

  20. I am so confused by McLaren at the moment, first they change their car base from last years car when last years car was clearly very fast, passing away a chance at a championship, then next year when they build their new car what are they going to do? they will have information on the Honda engine so will they build the car around the Honda engine and then slap in the Merc for the last season of the contract or will they compromise the 2015 car by designing the 2014 car around a Merc engine? Then when 2015 rolls around they are going to have to race with Engine which is a year down on the rest of the field and from the form of the last Honda engine to race in F1, well that was a disappointment. Whitmarsh can boast around talking up Honda’s turbo technical knowledge (which i know is rather impressive) but you still have to incorporate that turbo to a solid Engine, and Honda hasn’t done anything remotely interesting with their road cars in a while either. Looks to me like McLaren are not going to be even thinking about championships till at least 2016.

    On another note Red Bull Honda sounds nice to me, And another Engine Maker in F1 is always a good thing, just sounds like McLaren are chasing what was,

    1. Lucas Wilson (@full-throttle-f1)
      16th May 2013, 10:48

      At least if McLaren collapse while Ron Dennis chases his dream of getting a lap record… around the Top Gear test track… that a rich car maker will be able to save them.

  21. With all the controversy with the tyres this week, it’s great to see something that we can all agree is good news!

  22. interestingly the top 4 teams will have different engine suppliers, red bull have Renault, Ferrari have Ferrari, Mercedes have Mercedes and McLaren have Honda (excluding lotus from this list)

    1. McLaren are no longer a top 4 team.

      1. I think that’s a bit presumptuous. They might not be in the top four right now, but that’s only been the case for five races. They can recover – and have done so in the past, like in 2009. So I’d say they’d still be a top four team until they’ve been out for a year or more.

  23. People were all ooooh aaaah when the Williams-Renault combo made a comeback and that has turned out to be a big load of nothing. I think a change of supplier could merely be the continuation of a decline that McLaren seem to be slipping into.

    1. For me what is pleasing is the entry/re-entry of another engine supplier into Formula 1, than the partnership of McLaren and Honda. Though Whitmarsh highlights the company’s ability with Turbocharged engines, I take it with a pinch of a salt, especially considering that McLaren was the fastest car by the closing stages of last season and yet they have fallen into the middle of the mid-field this season. Who would have thought this would have happened?

  24. Glad too see a major manufacturer back in Formula 1. But surely this has to be a success, Honda wont do poor performances and niether will McLaren, and given that Honda are going to walk in blind compared to Renault, Ferrari and Mercedes and McLaren wont have engine data from 2014. Its a risk, but it will be exciting. Watched F1 since 1999 age of 3, Mclaren Mercedes is all I’ve known.

  25. Like timi and others have pointed out the timing just seems terrible. I understand that McLaren are looking to move away from Mercedes for political reasons and it’s outstanding that they have revoked Honda who will undoubtedly be a strong competitor in the compact turbo field. But what a pity that McLaren has to develop the first new-reg chassis for the Merc engine. I could be a major disadvantage to not just be one year behind but even have to develop a new chassis all over again. Or so it seems….

    But is it actually possible this a much more clever move than what meets the eye? Imagine that Honda will spend 2014 behind the scenes with McLaren and learn everything they can from the Merc engine in order to create a chassis-fitted replacement directly for 2015? When big money are at stake top minds are in play as well and it might just be that this is the smartest way to get to the top as fast and cheap as possible instead of starting from total scratch in 2014.

    When all of this is said and done; what greatly exiting news! Ferrari, Renault, Mercedes and Honda competing in the same F1 field. Absolutely classic!

  26. So what happens to 2014 year for Mclaren? They make a clean sheet design for 2014, use it for one year and then re-design from scratch to fit the new engine for 2015? That sounds wasteful, doesn’t it? I don’t think Mclaren are going to invest much time for 2014 now.

    On the other hand, this explains Mclaren’s decision to make a clean sheet design for 2013. Unlike other teams who will shift focus to 2014, Mclaren don’t have to do that as 2014 is probably a write-off anyways. So may be they decided to build a new design and focus on it the whole year and be really strong towards the end of the year.

  27. does the vodafone partnership end at the end of this year?
    could we see a mclaren livery change for 2014 then also 2015?

    1. Yeah, hopefully it’s bright orange so it could perfectly mark where the midfield is :)

    2. I guess they already announced that this year is last together with Vodafone and at November(?) they will announce new title sponsor (probably some mexican big $$$ one).

  28. Great news, but I’m not convinced Honda’s ability…maybe start of disaster for Mclaren?

    1. maybe start of disaster for Mclaren?

      My friend, McLaren’s disaster started the minute they decided to sign 2 non-top drivers. Or was it when they put Whitmarsh in charge? Even if Honda performs a miracle and brings out some very decent engines, it’s all gonna be in vain without a top driver.

      1. @klass haha, yeah, it’s true, but it can be worse :D

      2. @klaas definetly Whitmarsh – he’s far too nice! He doesn’t have the killer instinct which Ron Dennis was famous for, and lets look how successful the respective team principals have been…

  29. I wonder how the car would look then…

    Something close to this, maybe

  30. Ermmm… 2015. For all practical purposes Honda will be entering F1 as a new engine supplier. I don’t think that any of their past experience in F1 will amount to a hill of beans in their first few seasons. Whitmarsh spews out too much history and contemporary corporate blather with this reunion that I doubt will be able see the light of day on the grid until maybe 2018.

  31. So is the Claro Honda Mclaren or Telmex Honda Mclaren now ? Make sense to switch from EU sponsorship anyway

    1. Engine manufacturer’s name always comes at the end of team name.

      1. @eggry Like in Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro for example. Some engines Phillip Morris used make :)

  32. McLaren really do like taking massive risks these days, of recent memory we have had the following:

    1) Sergio Perez (when much stronger drivers were around)
    2) 2013 car being a total redesign when no other front runners did this

    Seems strange to be taking on an entirely new manufacturer but I guess they did the same with Mercedes back in the IIRC.

    Not too worried about the history, but I never have been.

    Good luck to them!

  33. Poor poor Hamilton. He was trying too hard to be like Ayrton.

    1. Ha ha, maybe it’s a maneuvre from McLaren to lure him back.

  34. A pattern seems to appear with this announcement:
    2008 2015
    Base Works team Driver Works team Driver
    Woking Mercedes Hamilton Honda Button
    Brackley Honda Button Mercedes Hamilton

  35. deal brokered by michibata

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