Formula One Entry (1964)

"What is F-1?"

In May 1962, Hideo Sugiura, quality manager at Saitama Factory, received an unofficial order from Yoshihito Kudo, director of the research center, "We are planning to compete in F-1. I want you to oversee the project." The resulting exchange was a rather interesting one:

"What is F-1? I have seen some photographs about it before, but I don’t know what it is. Please tell me what F-1 is," asked Sugiura.

"I don’t know, either," replied Kudo. "It doesn’t matter. Everyone’s a beginner, at first." This conversation is just an example of how foreign a concept F-1, or Formula One, was to Honda’s employees at that time. What little information available to them came from the 2.5-liter British F-1 machine, the Cooper Climax, which the research center had obtained six month earlier.

Honda’s entry in F-1 was announced in January 1964. Ever since the company had won an overall victory at the Isle of Man TT Race, one of motorcycling’s most prominent races, there had been great anticipation concerning Honda’s possible move into car racing. Particularly, the employees of the research center were confident that there was no race that could not be won with their technology.

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 Formula One Entry (1964)

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