Honda sets up F1 home in Britain

2013-07-12 08:26

LONDON, England - Honda is to build a European racing operations base in Britain ahead of its 2015 return to Formula 1.

The automaker said in May 2013 it would return to the sport as engine supplier to British team McLaren in a bid to revive its championship-winning partnership.

On Friday (July 12 2013) it added that a new operation would be built in Milton Keynes, 80km north-west of London, that "will rebuild and maintain the engines developed at the Honda research and development centre" in Japan.

The statement added: "The UK is an ideal location: it's the home of McLaren, many F1 suppliers are UK-based, and seven of the 19 races are in Europe."


Honda left F1 at the end of the 2008 season, selling the team to Ross Brawn in 2009 and ending an involvement that began in the 1960's, to cut costs during the economic downturn that ravaged Japanese exports to the US and Europe.

A recent change in F1 rules, promoting the use of cleaner, but more powerful, turbo engine made the comeback decision easier because Honda could readily transfer the technology to its road vehicles.

The McLaren-Honda alliance conquered F1 from 1988-91 with Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost.

Honda started racing in F1 as a full-fledged team in 1964 and stayed until 1968 during which time it won two races. Then, as a supplier of engines to other teams - among them McLaren, Williams and Lotus - it raced from 1983-92 and won 69 races.

After an eight-year hiatus Honda returned from 2000-05 as an engine provider and then part-owner of the BAR F1 team. In 2006 it took full control and renamed it Honda.

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