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SBD Global/May 17, 2013/Franchises

Honda To Participate In '15 FIA F1 World Championship As McLaren Engine Supplier

Honda Thursday announced its decision to participate in the FIA F1 World Championship from the '15 season under a joint project with McLaren. Honda will be in charge of the development, manufacture and supply of the power unit, including the engine and energy recovery system, while McLaren will be in charge of the development and manufacture of the chassis, as well as the management of the new team, McLaren Honda. From '14, new F1 regulations require the introduction of a 1.6 litre direct injection turbocharged V6 engine with energy recovery systems. The opportunity to further develop these powertrain technologies through the challenge of racing is central to Honda's decision to participate in F1 (Honda). BLOOMBERG's Mukai & Hagiwara wrote Honda, which forecasts the highest annual profit since '08 as a weaker yen boosts overseas earnings, said Wednesday that "the F1 racing series provides feedback for improving cars it manufactures in volume." The company had said in '08 it saved at least ¥20B ($195M) "by dropping out of F1." Information Handling Services Automotive industry analyst Yoshiaki Kawano said, "It's very costly to participate. Since Honda is coming back after being away from the racing series for a while, they may have to spend some extra on initial investments." Honda "will develop F1 engines in Tochigi, Japan" (BLOOMBERG, 5/16). The PA wrote the partnership "will bring to end McLaren's long-running engine deal with Mercedes" that began in '95, so far yielding 78 victories, one constructors' and three drivers' championships (PA, 5/16).

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