Formula 1 fans from the 1980s and 1990s will welcome the news that a McLaren-Honda partnership is expected to return to the F1 grid in 2015.
McLaren currently has a contract with Mercedes-Benz that gives them the option of using their engines until the end of the 2015 season. However, when asked directly if McLaren would stick with Mercedes for the full term of their contract Martin Whitmarsh said: “We have a contract that covers the next three seasons at the moment and we will certainly go into next year with Mercedes-Benz.”
A specific mention for 2014, when the new V6 turbocharged engine regs come into play, but no mention of 2015. Autosport reports that Honda officials have confirmed with them that they are planning to reunite with McLaren in 2015.
As it stands 2014 faces the prospect of having just three engine makers in F1: Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Renault. Martin Whitmarsh says new manufacturers entering F1 would be a good thing “We have read the stories about Porsche, Hyundai and Honda and I think they are to be encouraged,” he said.
“The sport needs new automotive manufacturers to come in and if we can help that in any way, we will do so, but at the moment we are very focused on our partnership [with Mercedes], which has been a very good partnership.”
When McLaren last used Honda engines, 1988â€“92, the net result was four driver and constructor championship doubles.
Meanwhile, McLaren has confirmed that 2013 will be the last year it will carry Vodafone sponsorship. They say a new title sponsor has already been sewn up, but they won’t make any announcement until December, after the season has finished.