Not only is Honda reportedly looking to make a comeback to Formula 1, but it could be doing so with the team with which it has enjoyed its greatest success: McLaren.
The Japanese car-maker has had a chequered involvement in Formula 1, with its most successful period coming with McLaren in the 1980s and 1990s, where the team swept to four consecutive Drivers’ and Constructors’ championship crowns between 1988-91.
A report in the authoritative Auto Motor und Sport claims that McLaren is seeking to use a Honda V6 turbo under the new engine regulations.
In many respects, the marriage would make sense. Mercedes-Benz has been steadily reducing its involvement with McLaren since the German car-maker set up their own bespoke F1 team, and McLaren is in the process of buying back the 16% shareholding it sold to Mercedes several years ago.
“The chances are good that with the introduction of the turbo V6s in 2014, Honda will celebrate a comeback with McLaren,” the report reads.
With the share buyback effectively easing Mercedes out of the way in influencing the direction of the Woking team, McLaren can effectively do what it wants when choosing engine partners.
Resuming an in-house relationship with Honda could be a logical step. Honda won’t want to dive into the team ownership game, and an engine supply deal is a great way leverage brand exposure at a lower cost.
And when one considers that the new-generation engines will have a particularly ‘green’ flavour to them, this is just the sort of brand positioning with which Honda would want to market itself…
[Image via The Cahier Archive]
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