By Steve & Tami Laser
Honda held a press conference at its headquarters in Tokyo today to announce that it’s ready to race in the 2015 FIA* Formula One (F1) World Championship. The McLaren Honda team will compete in the first race of the season, the Australian Grand Prix, on March 13 – 15, with its new MP4-30 racing car fitted with Honda’s 1.5-liter V6 engine, the RA615H, and its integrated hybrid engine recovery system.
(l-r) Yasuhisa Arai, Senior Managing Officer, Honda R&D Co. Ltd. and Chief Officer of Motorsport Honda; Takanobu Ito, President, Chief Executive Officer and Representative Director of Honda Motor Co., Ltd.; Fernando Alonso, McLaren Honda driver; Jenson Button, McLaren Honda driver; and Ron Dennis, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, McLaren, stand by the McLaren Honda MP4-30 in Tokyo.
Two years ago, Honda announced its decision to return to the F1 World Championship from the 2015 season under a joint project with McLaren, the UK-based F1 corporation. Honda is in charge of the development, manufacture and supply of the power unit, including the engine and energy recovery system, while McLaren is in charge of the development and manufacture of the chassis, as well as the management of the new team, McLaren Honda.
Between 1988 and 1992, McLaren Honda won eight world championships and 44 Grand Prix, took 53 pole positions and set 30 fastest laps, all in just 80 grand prix. In 1988, the partnership created one of the most successful Formula 1 cars, the McLaren Honda MP4/4, which was driven to victory by Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost in amazing 15 of the season’s 16 grand prix.
Honda says that the lure presented by its F1 record once again brought the company back to the pinnacle of global motor racing. Honda has been developing its new turbocharged engine at its all-new purpose-built motorsport facility in Sakura, Japan.
In 2014, the regulations for F1 engine and energy recovery systems were changed. The 2.4 liter engines were downsized to 1.6 liters, and environmental technologies such as energy recovery similar to conventional hybrid cars were introduced. F1 regulations allow for one turbocharger with concise regulations for where it can be installed. The turbocharger increases the amount of air fed into the engine, which is cooled by the intercooler and fed into the engine’s intakes.
Honda treated the media to a display of some of its vintage racing cars including the RA272 (above), Honda’s first F1 winner at the 1965 Mexican Grand Prix where 1500cc engines were allowed. The small yet amazing engine was a twin-cam V12.
McLaren Honda MP4/4 dominated the 1988 F1 series, winning 15 of 16 GPs, including the Belgium GP driven by No. 12 Ayrton Senna.
The Honda RA106 (above) won Jenson Button his first F1 championship in the Round 13 Grand Prix in Hungary in 2006.
*Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile
News source from Honda Motor Co. Ltd. Photos by Getty Images for Honda
Story ©2015 CarNichiWa.com