Unforgetable moments for McLaren and Honda with MP4-4From the start of the 2015 season, McLaren's Formula 1 cars will race using Honda engines and energy recovery systems, renewing an association that became one of the most successful and powerful in Formula 1 history during the 1980s and ’90s.
Today’s announcement not only heralds Honda’s decision to take on the challenge of Formula 1 after a six-season absence, but also signals the reappearance of Honda turbo power in grand prix racing. Honda broke new ground in the 1980s by creating a turbocharged engine that was unparalleled in both its output and its efficiency. Those same challenges have once again brought the Japanese manufacturer back to Formula 1 as grand prix racing adapts to the introduction of an all-new 1.6-litre turbocharged V6 formula from next year.
McLaren-Honda partnership rekindles memories of one of the most dominant partnerships in motorsport history: between 1988 and ’92 McLaren and Honda won eight world championships and 44 grands prix, took 53 pole positions and set 30 fastest laps – all in just 80 grands prix. In 1988, the partnership created arguably the single most successful Formula 1 car of all time: the all-conquering McLaren-Honda MP4/4, which was driven to victory by Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost in an amazing 15 of the season’s 16 grands prix.
It is against that backdrop that McLaren and Honda now commit to building afresh the strongest possible partnership in Formula 1. Honda will develop its engines at its R&D facility in Tochigi, Japan, where it has already begun development of its all-new 1.6-litre turbocharged V6 Formula 1 engine.
McLaren-Honda partnership in numbers:
- 5 years of partnership – 1988 to '92;
- 80 grands prix starts;
- 53 pole positions – a 66 per cent strike rate;
- 44 victories – a 55 per cent win rate;
- 30 fastest laps – 10 in 1988 alone;
- 8 world championships – drivers’ titles for Ayrton Senna (1988, 1990, 1991) and Alain Prost (1989), and constructors’ titles in 1988, 1989, 1990 and 1991;
- 3 race-winning engine configurations – 1.5-litre turbo V6, 3.5-litre naturally aspirated V10, 3.5-litre naturally aspirated V12