McLaren Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Mr Ron Dennis, has revealed that McLaren’s record-winning partnership with Honda in the late 1980s and early 1990s could contribute to early success when the partnership takes to the track again.
The anticipation of a successful reunion between the motorsport greats is building, with only two months until Honda makes its return to Formula 1 in partnership with McLaren.
To celebrate Honda’s return to F1, Honda Australia has commissioned an interview with Mr Dennis, which reveals a deep respect for the global automotive company.
Honda Australia Director, Mr Stephen Collins, said that the Honda family is committed to the company’s return to F1, which comes at a time when Honda is releasing exciting new models locally and overseas. “We are delighted Ron Dennis agreed to an interview with Honda Australia. We are excited to share a few of Mr Dennis’ thoughts with fans in Australia.”
In the article, Mr Dennis recalls the success of the initial partnership, which delivered four driver’s and four constructor’s world championships in four consecutive years from 1988 to 1991.
“It was a carefully considered strategy, which secured us a partnership with the most successful and pioneering engine manufacturer in Grand Prix racing,” Mr Dennis said. “The effort and attention that we placed on those preparations went on to serve us well; we created a partnership that brought us unprecedented success. Indeed, McLaren and Honda won 44 out of the 80 grands prix we contested together and that’s more than a 50 per cent success rate.”
Mr Dennis highlights further success achieved by the partnership in the late 1980s and early 1990s and then looks to 2015 and the future of the partnership between Honda and McLaren. “Now, together, I want us to collaborate on the creation of a deep understanding of each company’s mindset and culture, both on and off the circuit.”
“We must do that together because mutual empathy leads to enhanced combined productivity. With this in mind, I intend that a team-building process be hard-wired into our modus operandi and indeed that’s already taking place.”
Honda Australia’s Stephen Collins added that Mr Dennis retains a great respect for Honda’s motorsport heritage. “It is this heritage that will see Honda release the new NSX in the U.S. in 2015 and here in Australia, sometime later. Motoring enthusiasts around the world are excited by this highly-anticipated release.”
Mr Dennis states that the true essence of a company as great as Honda remains. “I’m glad to say that it’s already clear from our discussions that the innovative engineering ethos of Mr Honda lives on and that the company he founded is still a world leader in the field of state-of-the-art engine technology.
“Specifically, in a McLaren-Honda context, it relishes and will continue to relish the challenge of optimising the integration and interaction of ERS (Energy Recovery System), KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) and a turbocharged 1.6-litre V6 engine.
“We’ll achieve a lot together, of that I am certain and as I say, familiarity with and knowledge of each other’s working practices will expedite that,” Mr Dennis said.
While Mr Dennis is reluctant to make predictions, he says that based on what he knows “…I see no reason why we won’t begin to move forwards relatively rapidly.”
Honda is the world’s biggest engine manufacturer, a leader in automotive research and development, and consistently rated a top performer in customer satisfaction. There are more than 400,000 Hondas on the road in Australia and millions of happy customers worldwide.