McLaren F1 car powered by HondaEnlarge Photo
Honda announced in May it would be returning to F1 in 2015 as an engine supplier, initially to the McLaren team which the Japanese firm famously powered during the 1980s and early ‘90s. McLaren’s Woking headquarters is only a short drive from Milton Keynes.
The new operations will serve as the frontline for Honda’s F1 operations and will be responsible for maintenance of the new engines and recovery units that will be supplied to McLaren. Honda will also base its trackside support operations from the Milton Keynes site.
Development and manufacture of the components, however, will take place at Honda’s main R&D center in Tochigi, Japan.
Importantly, engineers from Honda’s performance arm Mugen will also be based at the site. Though Mugen hasn’t built any credible performance cars in years, it’s expected to have a more prominent role going forward now that Honda is back in F1 and planning new sports cars like the 2015 NSX.
If that wasn’t enough, engineers working on Honda’s World Touring Car Championship campaign will also have an office at the site.
"With the confirmation of a new F1 operation base in U.K., our preparation to join F1 has become more specific and concrete,” Honda motorsport chief Yasuhisa Arai said in a statement. “To meet and exceed the expectations of our fans, we will accelerate our development to bring back the unique Honda engine sound onto the track."