Motorsport

Published: Saturday April 19, 2014 MYT 7:02:39 AM
Updated: Saturday April 19, 2014 MYT 7:04:36 AM

Honda to focus on McLaren in 2015

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Honda has no plans to supply any other team but McLaren when it returns to Formula One as an engine supplier next season, the Japanese carmaker said on Saturday.

"For 2015 McLaren is our only customer," Honda's chief officer of motorsport Yasuhisa Arai told reporters ahead of Sunday's Chinese Grand Prix.

"I don't think about the future because we want to concentrate on next season. Of course we want to have good results next season and see the results from other manufacturers.

"If teams want to use our engine or power unit we can deliver after year 2016 but right now there are no plans," he added.

Honda's previous involvement in Formula One ended after the 2008 season when the global financial crisis and a lack of results on the track prompted the company to withdraw.

The carmaker's team became Brawn GP for 2009 and won the drivers' and constructors' championships with Jenson Button, now at McLaren, and Mercedes engines.

Honda has been tempted back as an engine supplier thanks to the move to adopt more efficient hybrid technology which can be carried over to road cars.

"One of the major reasons for our decision was the new regulation introduced this year," said Arai.

Honda's decision to team up with McLaren, in the final year of using Mercedes engines, will revive one of Formula One's most successful partnerships.

The combination yielded multiple titles in their time together between 1988 and 1992 with late triple world champion Ayrton Senna and four-times world champion Alain Prost behind the wheel.

(Editing by Tony Jimenez)

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