As we discussed on our recent podcasts, Honda will be returning to F1 with a power unit supply for McLaren in 2015-16. The deal is exclusive with McLaren for the first two years as Honda motorsport boss, Yasuhisa Arai, points out to Sky Sport F1:
“McLaren is our only customer. I don’t think about the future, because we want to concentrate on next season,” Arai said.
However, that could change in 2016:
“If teams want to use our engine or power unit, we can deliver after year 2016 but right now there are no plans.”
The company says that the engines will be maintained in a facility in Milton Keynes but the design is all Japan. I will be very intrigued to see if Honda push the envelope with the Mercedes-styled split turbo design now that the cat is out of the bag and with a Merc in the rear of a McLaren in 2014, Honda has 100% access to the tech in question in which to study and imitate.
That additional year, 2014, in the McLaren/Mercedes contract had to sting didn’t it? I am sure Mercedes would rather have not had their engine crawled over, measured and fondled by a main competitor for 2015.