Honda’s return to to the sport in 2015 is being warmly welcomed in the Formula 1 paddock.
Amid poor results and the global financial crisis, the Japanese carmaker pulled out as a team at the end of 2008, but will return in 2015 as a works supplier of the new turbo V6 engine to McLaren.
“I think it’s very good for the team and for McLaren’s future,” said Jenson Button, “but I think it’s also good for the sport.
“It means we will have four engine [manufacturers] in F1, and I think it will pave the way for even more carmakers to come in,” the McLaren driver, and former works Honda driver, told Brazil’s Totalrace.
Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso also welcomed the good news, believing that Honda will boost competition in F1.
“It’s always positive and always welcome when manufacturers come into F1,” the Spaniard is quoted.
“We have seen that the smaller teams with lower costs did not have the success that was expected, as F1 is much more demanding than any other category. Honda’s arrival is the best of news,” added Alonso.
Red Bull team boss Christian Horner also sees Honda’s return as a good sign for F1.
“It’s great to see them coming back,” he said. “It shows that F1 is very significant for car manufacturers.
“We have seen the benefits that Infiniti has had [by being] involved with Red Bull, so I’m very happy to see Honda coming back,” the Briton added.
Four time world champion Alain Prost, affiliated with F1 engine supplier Renault, agreed: “I think it’s great. It’s great for F1.
“It’s good for Honda but I think also good for the image of F1.
“We have new and very complex technology coming next year, and manufacturers want to be involved in F1 again because of that, which is great for F1’s image in general,” he added.
Button’s former works Honda teammate, Rubens Barrichello, commented: “When I knew that Honda] were [pulling out of] the team I was in, there was a very big sadness in the air.
“Honda without F1, and F1 without Honda – they’re not the same,” said the veteran Brazilian. “I am very happy to see them again.” (GMM)
Subbed by AJN.