As announced on the 16th May Honda will participate in F1, under a joint project with McLaren, as a supplier of the power unit including the engine and energy recovery system from 2015.
The new facility will be the European frontline operation for Honda’s F1 participation and will rebuild and maintain the power units developed at Honda R&D centre in Tochigi, Japan. Honda will also base its track side support operations from this new European office.
This office will be located in the new engine research and development centre of MUGEN EURO Co., Ltd.*2, where Honda plans to start operations from June of 2014.
Yasuhisa Arai, Senior Managing Officer and Director, Chief Officer of Motorsports, Honda R&D Co., Ltd. said: “With the confirmation of a new F1 operation base in U.K., our preparation to join F1 has become more specific and concrete. To meet and exceed the expectations of our fans, we will accelerate our development to bring back the unique Honda engine sound onto the track.”
Whilst the development and manufacture of Honda’s F1 power units will take place at the R&D centre in Tochigi, Japan, it was important for Honda to establish a European facility to support its racing operation. The U.K. is an ideal location; it is the home of McLaren, many F1 suppliers are U.K. based and with 7 of the 19 races taking place in Europe (2013), the U.K. acts as a global hub for the transportation of parts as well as team personnel.
From 2014, new F1 regulations require the introduction of a 1.6 litre direct injection turbocharged V6 engine with energy recovery systems. Honda see an opportunity to further develop these powertrain technologies through the challenge of racing is central to Honda’s decision to participate in F1.
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. Participation in Formula 1 under these new regulations will encourage even further technological progress in both these areas. Furthermore, a new generation of Honda engineers can experience the challenges and the thrills of operating at the pinnacle of motorsport.
And they did do rather well too!