Honda said to return to F1 in 2015 with McLaren

Updated 16 May 2013
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Honda said to return to F1 in 2015 with McLaren

TOKYO: Honda will return to Formula One in 2015 as McLaren engine partners, replacing Mercedes, sources close to the company said on yesterday.
Honda’s Chief Executive Takanobu Ito is set to make an official announcement as early as Thursday, one of the sources added.
The Japanese automaker quit the sport at the end of 2008, handing over their team to then-principal Ross Brawn who went on to win both titles in 2009 with Mercedes-powered Brawn GP.
One source said Honda hoped Formula One’s new engine regulations for 2014 would help develop technology for its mass volume road cars, adding: “That incubator aspect of the sport makes Honda’s participation worthwhile.”
Formula One is set to introduce a new 1.6 liter V6 engine next year aided by high-power turbo technology with energy recovery systems.
The news about Honda’s return to Formula One was reported earlier on Wednesday in Japanese media including public broadcaster NHK and Asahi newspaper.
“There is nothing we can say at the moment,” Honda spokesman Shigeki Endo said.
McLaren are committed to using engines made by Mercedes, their former shareholders, next year but have not revealed their plans for beyond that date. A team spokesman had no comment on the reports.
The link-up with McLaren, the second most successful team in the sport after Ferrari in terms of race wins and drivers’ titles, would revive one of the greatest Formula One partnerships.
Honda had little success with their own team but powered McLaren to multiple championships with the late Brazilian triple champion Ayrton Senna and French four times champion Alain Prost between 1988 and 1992.
The partnership in 1988 was the most dominant in Formula One history, with Senna and Prost winning 15 of the 16 races.
The sources said Honda also hoped renewed participation in the sport will help boost vehicle sales, especially in Japan, Asia and Europe where Formula One is popular.
The two sources declined to be named as they were not authorized to speak about the matter.
Honda made its Formula One debut at the 1964 German Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring.




The company’s first grand prix win came just a year later at the 1965 Mexican Grand Prix in Mexico City and they then withdrew after the 1968 season.
They returned to the sport as an engine provider in 1983 and departed again in 1992.
In 2000, Honda made a comeback with BAR, which then became the Honda team in 2006. The only success in that period was Jenson Button’s 2006 win in Hungary.
Button, world champion in 2009, is now a McLaren driver along with Mexican Sergio Perez.


Saudi Arabia out to make Kingdom 'proud' and repay faith of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

Updated 23 May 2018
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Saudi Arabia out to make Kingdom 'proud' and repay faith of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

  • Juan Antonio Pizzi’s side are in Zurich on a three-week training camp
  • SAFF have left no stone turned in preparing the team for their first appearance at the finals since 2006

RIYADH: The president of the Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) acknowledges there will be added scrutiny on the Green Falcons when they kick off this summer’s World Cup against hosts Russia in the opening game, but is confident the players can overcome any first-night nerves and rise to the challenge.
Juan Antonio Pizzi’s side are in Zurich on a three-week training camp as they start to fine-tune preparations ahead of the first game on June 14. The Argentine coach has taken 28 players with him, but must whittle the squad down to 23 by June 4.
SAFF have left no stone turned in preparing the team for their first appearance at the finals since 2006, sanctioning five training camps and arranging nine friendlies, several against high-profile opposition. Their final three games are against sides with top 20 FIFA’s rankings, a deliberate strategy to ensure they are not undercooked heading into Group A games against Russia, Uruguay and Egypt.
“We are at a critical stage of our preparations, one that needs concentration and discipline, especially as we face three strong teams in Italy, Peru and Germany,” said president Adel Ezzat in a video on the federation’s Twitter account. “Our objective is to be on form by June 14 when the eyes of the world will be on us in the opening match. We have a bright history in the World Cup and Asian Cup, so it’s our duty to live up to that reputation. I would like to address all Saudi fans, whether they will be watching the games on TV or from the stadiums in Russia: They should pray for the players. The players are our brothers and sons, and we should all love our Saudi national team. I urge the fans and the media to be united around the national team.”
Ezzat said the players have been energised and inspired by a meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman before they left for Switzerland. The crown prince demonstrated his commitment to the game in the Kingdom by this week vowing to cover all external debts totalling SR1.277 billion (around $340 million) owed by Saudi Pro League clubs.
“We are optimistic after the historic meeting between the players, staff and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman,” said Ezzat. “The meeting set the tone for the final stage of preparations, and the players are up for the challenge of meeting His Highness’ expectations.
“We are grateful for Prince Mohammed for his constant support and generosity toward Saudi football, be it the national team, clubs or the league. It’s our duty to repay the faith of our leaders. This is something that drives us forward and I’m fully confident in the players’ ability to do us proud in Russia.”