• McLaren news

Honda return rumours gather pace

ESPN Staff
May 15, 2013 « Kubica's simulator work helping Mercedes | Honda confirms return to F1 in 2015 »
Honda last raced in Formula One in 2008 © Sutton Images
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Anonymous sources at Honda have told the news agency Reuters that the Japanese car manufacturer is set to return to Formula One with McLaren in 2015.

The Reuters report is the latest in a long list of stories linking Honda to an F1 return, but goes one step further by claiming an official announcement could be made as early as Thursday. The news was also reported in Japan by public broadcaster NHK and the Asahi newspaper.

McLaren's engine contract with Mercedes will expire at the end of 2014 and a link-up with Honda would see the team become a works outfit again in 2015. The new 1.6-litre, turbo engine regulations appear to have lured Honda back to the sport after it pulled out five years ago amid the financial crisis. If the rumours are true it will return as McLaren's engine supplier, rekindling the partnership that saw it win four drivers' and constructors' titles between 1988 and 1992.

Asked about McLaren's plans going into the new era of engine regulations at the weekend, team principal Martin Whitmarsh said: "I negotiated [2014] a long time ago with Mercedes. I think discussions about 2015 are between myself and Mercedes and not for the newspapers."

Honda spokesman Shigeki Endo told Reuters: "There is nothing we can say at the moment."