BMW and Toyota have rubbished suggestions that they could follow Honda’s lead with a return to Formula 1 as an engine supplier.
Honda confirmed it will return to the sport in 2015 after signing a works supply deal with McLaren, ending a six-year absence from the sport after it shut down its bespoke F1 team at the end of the 2008 season.
A year later, fellow manufacturer outfits BMW and Toyota followed suit, citing financial pressures stemming from the Global Financial Crisis, while also pointing out that the sport’s regulations didn’t match their “sustainability and environmental compatibility” aims.
One of the reasons triggering Honda’s comeback, according to Honda president Takanobu Ito, is the “significant environmental focus” afforded under the new engine regulations, which will dictate the teams run with turbocharged 1.6-litre V6 engines, fitted with hybrid-style energy-recovery systems.
That then raised speculation that BMW and Toyota would contemplate returns to the sport, with F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone fanning the BMW flames, in particular.
“I would be surprised if we don’t see BMW again,” he told the City AM newspaper on Tuesday.
“The amount of money they spent was not significant in the grand scheme of things. It makes sense for them to return.”
That view is seemingly well out of step with BMW, who invested heavily in a return to Germany’s touring car championship, the DTM series. The carmaker returned to the series last year after a twenty-year absence, and romped to the championship title.
It also has significant involvement in endurance racing, as well as limited-scale involvement in the British and World Touring Car Championships.
“We are pleased with our current programme,” BMW motorsport boss Jens Marquardt told German website motorsport-total.com.
“We withdrew from Formula 1 deliberately. We are focused on what our customers really recognise as BMW, and we have no reason to change [these plans].”
Additionally, Toyota spokesperson Dion Corbett confirmed to the Bloomberg news agency that the Japanese carmaker harboured no ambitions to return to Formula 1.