Honda plots F1 return from new Milton Keynes base
Following confirmation of a return to Formula One for the 2015 season in May, Honda has announced that it will base its European racing operation in Milton Keynes. Honda says the new facility will be the European frontline operation for its F1 participation, a joint project with McLaren to supply the power unit, including the engine and energy recovery system. It will rebuild and maintain power units developed at the Honda R&D centre in Tochigi, Japan, while its trackside support operations from this new European office.
This office will be located in the new engine research and development centre of Mugen Euro Co, Ltd, the UK subsidiary of M-TEC Co Ltd (Japan), where Honda plans to start operations from June 2014. It will also provide an engineer office for Honda’s activities in the world Touring Car Championship.
Honda explained that the development and manufacture of Honda’s F1 power units will still take place at the R&D centre in Tochigi, Japan, but that it sees as important the establishment of a European facility to support its racing operation. With this in mind, the UK, home of McLaren and many F1 suppliers, and proximity to seven of the 19 races taking place in Europe in 2013, acts as a global hub for the transportation of parts and team personnel.
Yasuhisa Arai, senior managing officer and director, chief officer of Motorsports, Honda R&D Co, Ltd. said: “With the confirmation of a new F1 operation base in UK, our preparation to join F1 has become more specific and concrete. 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.”