McLaren's Jonathan Neale has no doubts over Honda's likely competitiveness in 2015

Team chief also says team will split resource on 2014-2015 cars

By James Galloway @SkyGalloway.   Last Updated: 16/05/13 12:15pm

  • Share:

Sky Bet

    • Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds

McLaren's Jonathan Neale is confident Honda will produce a "massively competitive" engine on their return to F1 and the team will successfully manage the transition from Mercedes to the Japanese manufacturer.

Honda officially brought to an end months of speculation on Thursday when they confirmed they were returning to F1 from the season after next to revive their iconic partnership with McLaren, having been enticed by the sport's more technologically-advanced engine and energy recovery regulations which come into force from 2014.

The agreement means that McLaren will switch engine suppliers from Mercedes to Honda after just one season of F1's new turbocharged era, a potentially tricky situation to manage.

Speaking in an interview with Sky Sports News, Neale, while stressing the exciting nature of the switch, acknowledged that both McLaren and Honda had a lot of work ahead of them for 2015 but insisted they were both more than capable of making a success of things.

"I think both parties recognise that we've achieved a lot of success together but the opportunity with the new V6 technology, the pedigree that Honda have in engine design, turbocharger design and energy recovery systems, it's just a really exciting prospect - not just for us as McLaren, but for anybody who's a fan of Formula 1 or a customer or Honda," the McLaren Managing Director told Rachel Brookes.

F1 on Sky Sports in 2013

Sky Sports F1 is the only place to watch the 2013 Monaco Grand Prix live.

Coverage starts with opening practice on Thursday 23 May and we have 90 minutes of build-up, starting at 11:30am, prior to Sunday's race plus analysis and extras via the Red Button.

Find out more at sky.com

"There is no doubt that they will be massively competitive. Turbocharged engines in 1.6-litre category are something that is familiar to them.

"Obviously the new engine for 2014 in Formula 1 is a step and a big push, we don't underestimate for a minute the work that we have to do together to be ready for 2015 - that absolutely goes without saying - but we're very confident that together we can do that."

Asked if that meant they would have to split engine resource between the 2014 and 2015 cars, something McLaren does on the design front in any case, Neale replied: "We need to be splitting the resource to be able to do that. But we're capable of doing that."

Next season will mark McLaren's 20th - and now final - season in tandem with Mercedes power and Neale says the chance to reunite with Honda was too good a one to turn down.

"We've enjoyed a very long and fruitful relationship with Mercedes-Benz but the time has come for us to review the future," he added.

"There's an opportunity to get together with Honda, who are returning to the sport in 2015, and a chance to reignite that partnership. It's just such a great opportunity for us and we're really looking forward to it."

  • Share:

Related

F1 Transfer Gossip

Bernie wants Lewis at Ferrari

Bernie Ecclestone says it would be great for F1 if Lewis Hamilton swapped the silver of Mercedes for the red of Ferrari.

Kimi Raikkonen: Maybe not heading for F1 retirement at the end of 2015 after all

Kimi: Ferrari have 2016 option

Kimi Raikkonen says Ferrari have an option to retain him for 2016 – and admitted he would like to stay on with the team.

Hamilton hasn't asked for No1 clause

Hamilton hasn't asked for No1 clause

Lewis Hamilton has strongly dismissed suggestions he wants a clause in his contract stating that he is Mercedes' number one driver.

Related Profiles

Poll

Most Popular

Features

Testing talking points

Testing talking points

Just how far ahead are Mercedes and what sort of uphill tasks are ahead for Renault and Honda?

Team-by-team review

Team-by-team review

Analysing who looks on form, and who appears to be struggling, after the second test of pre-season.

Barca talking points

Barca talking points

Why Mercedes were fooling no one in the first week at Barcelona and Ferrari look to have staying power.