Earlier this year, Honda announced that it would return to F1 as an engine supplier to McLaren Racing in 2015. The two companies enjoyed a fruitful partnership in F1 between 1988 and the end of 1992, winning four drivers’ championships and four constructors’ crowns during that spell.
Whitmarsh described the new deal as a “multi-year” one, and his comments suggest that there is scope for a much deeper co-operation that could spread into McLaren’s automotive division.
“It’s a pure Formula 1 contract, but we’ve already been looking at automotive technology and we’re sharing that very openly,” said Whitmarsh at last weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix. “Our road car strategy at the moment has no other automotive partner and Honda would be a good place to collaborate.”
Whitmarsh said the results of any Honda involvement in future McLaren road cars wouldn’t be seen for some years. The company is currently working on the third model in its contemporary range, the Porsche 911- rivalling P13, but Honda hasn’t had any input into that car.