The big gossip over the last day or so is a BBC story linking Honda with McLaren for 2014 or 2015 at the latest. Honda whom used to run a team in the series (now the Mercedes AMG team) is strongly rumored to be making a comeback in the engine department as F1 moves to the turbo V6 for 2014. The Japanese manufacturer has made no official statement regarding their F1 plans, but the McLaren rumor isn’t going away.
I think even the rumor shows there is a lot of promise in the turbo V-6 platform as making business sense for a lot of manufacturers. While we hate to admit it, the days of the naturally aspirated V8 are dead. If the sport was to continue with its current package, we can almost guarantee that Renault would have gone away sooner rather than later. The topic has brought Honda into the discussion and I think would work well for a group like Volkswagen.
While there has been much debate amongst the fans and some ruling a lot of manufacturers out, isn’t the very idea that we are having these debates a show of promise? It shows the formula is coming back into the hands of the manufacturers. I truly believe the fact F1 refused to change with the times is why we have lost so much as it is. By introducing a more relevant engine like the turbo V6, it gives people like VW and Honda something to market. Even big American trucks are moving to a turbo V6 to improve energy efficiency. Not to say that a Chevy Silverado has much to do with F1, but it does show that manufacturers like the idea of the turbo V6 as a replacement to its eight cylinder counterpart.
Will Honda end up joining? Who knows? I think the continuous talk surrounding the topic is a good thing though. I only hope that McLaren is careful of the Honda grenade factor. I remember many Sato/Button engines going up in very spectacular fashion. Ah the good ol days.
What manufacturers would you like to see join the turbo V6 party?