Currently reading: Honda admits renewed F1 interest
The head of Honda R&D has told Autocar he hopes the marque can return to Formula One in the future, fuelling speculation it could return when the sport moves to turbocharged engines
Autocar
News
2 mins read
10 October 2012

The head of Honda R&D has told Autocar he hopes the marque can return to Formula One in the future, fuelling speculation that it is evaluating the new 1.6-litre turbo rules that will be introduced from 2014.

Yoshiharu Yamamoto, told Autocar: “On a personal level I love racing, but there is a lot involved when you are in F1 – it is the very top of auto racing and that requires a large commitment. But it is true that we do look up at those races and hope that one day we can take part again.

“I do not personally think we can just go straight back immediately, but there is potential for the rules to change and attract us. I follow the rules, certainly, and if they present an opportunity then it would be nice to go back.”

Honda recently committed to the World Touring Car Championship (WTCC), where the team will run a 1.6-litre turbocharged engine. As a result, the next Honda Civic Type-R road car, due for launch in 2015, is widely tipped to run a turbocharged engine.

In an exclusive interview with Autocar magazine this week Honda president Takanobu Ito has admitted the firm is developing other turbocharged engines for sale in Europe, shifting the firm away from its long-held support of high-revving naturally-aspirated units.

That shift could tally with a renewed interest in Formula 1’s revised regulations. However, Yamamoto admitted the firm had to hit other targets before it could consider returning to F1 for the first time since 2008.

“This is my personal view – not that of Honda – but I feel the first thing we must do is win in the WTCC, and then perhaps we can look further afield,” he said.

 

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Vimeous 11 October 2012

The rumour grows

An interesting conversation that merely strengthens the rumours sewn at the advent of the rule changes discussions.

Honda appeared far more reluctant to withdraw from F1 than Toyota. There's no doubt the seeds of top-level motorsport desire are still at the heart of the business but it currently has a clear focus on selling cars rather than the brand.

That will come with time and if I were Honda I'd look to use WTCC success to reassure a future F1 partner. Their previous F1 exit will undoubtably raise questions about commitment and longevity.

Who those partners should be is open.
A top flight team is fundamental. I'd love to see Mclaren powered by Honda once again and with their Mercedes contract soon to reach its conclusion it's a great opportunity.
However it would take a significant leap of faith on Mclarens part that any engine would be competitive from day 1.

It remains to be seen if WTCC and LMP cars offer enough evidence that Honda's F1 credentials remain Grade A.
I hope they are.

Peter Cavellini 11 October 2012

Ah so!

About time,yes,would make sense,gives then 3 yrs to perfect it with typical Honda-ness.

TeutonicDiesel 11 October 2012

Please stop this!

In the same way autocar gave us every detail about the forthcoming Mclaren hypercar (except price, enginge size, engine layout, performance etc) how can they say

Honda admits renewed F1 interest

after interviewing head of R&D who says "I follow the rules, certainly, and if they present an opportunity then it would be nice to go back.” as well as

"This is my personal view – not that of Honda".

Maybe autocar could change its name to Autocar Metro and give it away free as a daily edition that could be full of all sorts of none stories like this.

It never used to be like this.