With McLaren reuniting with Honda for 2015, anticipation grows as fans hope to see a triumphant return to the glory days which the partnership enjoyed throughout the 1980’s and 90’s. It was an iconic period for the team, which brought dominant success with seven titles claimed in just eight years, as the likes of Senna, Prost and Lauda etched their way into McLaren folk-law. Honda have stated their ambitions, while they have not considered their preferred driver line-up for 2015 just yet.
As a team, Honda pulled out of Formula One, due to the global financial crisis, after a disappointing 2008 season. As a manufacturing outfit, Honda were looking to incorporate more environmentally friendly strategies into their F1 project, including notable efforts such as the distinctive “Earth Car” in 2007 and 2008. The famous livery was the only memorable aspect of an otherwise poor product. However, with the impending change to ERS technologies in 2014, Honda have been enticed back into F1, with the manufacturers rejoining McLaren to provide their all important V6 turbo powertrains from 2015 onwards.
Following such a difficult season, McLaren is far from a stable outfit, with both drivers and senior personnel under the microscope. Neither Jenson Button nor Sergio Perez are confirmed for next season, yet Honda have stated their intentions to not influence the team’s driver decisions. “Of course in the 1980s we had a splendid time with McLaren with Senna and Prost as very good drivers. It was a wonderful time,” Arari told Sky Sports News in Japan ahead of the country’s race this weekend. “However, at the moment we are completely undecided of anything about drivers and what we should do now is to have good drivers, a good team and good organisation. Those things have to be ready, has to be right, in order to have a good start.”
The interview comes prior to this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix and Jenson Button highlighted the importance of a Japanese manufacturer returning to the sport in today’s press conference. He stated, “it feels that Japan needs either a driver or a manufacturer in the sport. Obviously it’s been a little while since they’ve had a manufacturer and with no Japanese drivers on the grid now.”
As a footnote, regular articles should be returning to the blog from now, as I have managed to find a good balance between studies and blogging. Consequently, my first full Weekend Preview will be out later tonight.