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Honda back in F1 for 2015

2013-05-15 13:15

WAY BACK WHEN: Jenson Button (left) and Reubens Barrichello with the Honda entrant for the team's last season, 2008. Image: AFP

TOKYO, Japan - Honda is expected to announce its return to Formula 1 in 2015 as engine supplier to British team McLaren.

The move would revive a championship-winning partnership.

Honda president Takanobu Ito will make the announcement as this week, a source told AFP, confirming Japanese media reports.

"Honda has not officially denied these reports," said the source, who asked not to be named. "Please prepare yourself for the announcement."

SOLD TO BRAWN


The Japanese automaker pulled out of F1 at the end of the 2008 season, ending an involvement that began in the 1960's, in a bid to cut costs during the economic downturn that ravaged Japanese exports to the US and Europe.

The team was sold to former principal Ross Brawn in 2009.

A recent change in F1 rules to promote smaller and environmentally friendlier turbo engines made the comeback decision easier because Honda could easily transfer the technology to its commercial vehicles.

If realised, the plan would see a reunion of the McLaren-Honda alliance that conquered F1 from 1988-91 with Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost as drivers.

Honda started in F1 as a team in 1964 and stayed until 1968; it won two races. Then, as engine supplier to McLaren, Williams and Lotus, it raced from 1983-92 and won 69 races.

After an eight-year hiatus, Honda returned as an engine provider and then part-owner of the BAR team from 2000-05. In 2006 it took full control and renamed it Honda.
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