Welcome Back: Honda Re-Entering Formula 1 in 2015 as Engine, KERS Supplier to McLaren

By Trevor Dorchies | May 16, 2013
From 1964 to 2008, Honda participated in Formula 1 competition through multiple avenues including racing, building cars, and supplying engines. Today, Honda announced that it will be rejoining Formula 1 in the form of an engine builder for McLaren. When Honda was last involved in F1 competition, it created a trickle-down effect for the automaker's consumer side, as the F1 experience helped spawn features like shift-by-wire and Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control, or more commonly known as VTEC. Honda used to have its engineers work with the F1 team for a few years before being called back to headquarters. There's been no word if Honda will start this up again, but the move has stirred up excitement in the racing world nonetheless. "Honda has a long history of advancing our technologies and nurturing our people by participating in the world’s most prestigious automobile racing series," said Takanobu Ito, President and CEO of Honda, in a statement released by the automaker. "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'd be lying if we said McLaren wasn't excited about this new partnership and had sky-high expectations, too. "The names of McLaren and Honda are synonymous with success in Formula One, and, for everyone who works for both companies, the weight of our past achievements together lies heavily on our shoulders," McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh said in a statement. "But it's a mark of the ambition and resolve we both share that we want once again to take McLaren Honda to the very pinnacle of Formula One success. Together we have a great legacy – and we’re utterly committed to maintaining it.” Now that you're loaded up on warm and fuzzies, it's important to know that Honda will be responsible for the development, building, and supplying McLaren's F1 engines and kinetic energy recovery system, or KERS. McLaren will take care of building the race car itself and will also manage the newly-formed McLaren-Honda racing team. Formula 1 racing require a 1.6-liter turbocharged and direct injected V-6 engine with energy recovering systems. The KERS is responsible for collecting energy in the heat creating by friction during braking. This energy is stored and converted over to power that will be used to accelerate. Automotive.com's take: Honda rejoining Formula 1 racing in any fashion is good for everyone involved. McLaren will be better. The sport of F1 will see competition as a whole get even tougher. Honda's customer base may also see a boost in the types of technologies seen in road vehicles as well. As for exactly what this new tech riding on-board may be? We'll just have to sit and wait. Source: Honda