Formula One Entry / 1983

Reaching for the Top in Motorsports (F-1: The Second Phase)

Formula One Entry / 1983

A Long-awaited Comeback in F-1

"Racing is part of Honda’s corporate culture. It does not matter if we win or lose. We want to show our best technology to the users of Honda cars in the form of entertaining spectacles. This is why we decided to resume racing activities," Kiyoshi Kawashima, president of Honda, announced the company’s return to the racing circuit at the New Year press conference in 1978.

A Long-awaited Comeback in F-1

Spirit Honda’s machine competing in the Austrian Grand Prix in August 1983

The CVCC engine, developed by Honda as a pioneer low-pollution engine, was receiving rave reviews. The decision came after the introduction of the Life, Civic, and Accord Hatchback, which further expanded Honda’s lineup of commercial models.

Honda returned to the World Motorcycle Grand Prix Series in 1979. However, going back to F-1, which had progressed so much during the past ten years, was a difficult decision to make. Finally Honda decided first to take on F-2 to gain sufficient records and experience before competing in F-1. As a result, it took Honda five years after the 1978 announcement to actually make a comeback in F-1.

In 1981, its second year in F-2, Honda won the European F-2 Championship. It was followed by a monumental record of twelve consecutive victories spanning the 1983 and 1984 seasons.

In 1983, Honda began developing F-1 engines. With the company planning to expand its lineup of commercial models in Japan before the scheduled deployment of a three-channel distribution system, things were hectic at the research center. However, as general manager of the F-1 program, Nobuhiko Kawamoto’s policy of not sacrificing the mass production models was firmly intact.

In the second phase, Honda decided to form a partnership with European chassis manufacturers to gain recognition in the world of F-1, supplying only engines. The company set its goal to becoming the number one in the world.

Honda returned to the F-1 circuit at the British Grand Prix in July 1983, in which it competed as Team Spirit Honda. The Silverstone circuit was crowded with journalists and photographers wanting to witness Honda’s comeback after a fifteen year hiatus. To their disappointment, however, the team retired after only five laps. The South African Grand Prix, the last race of the season, saw the debut of Team Williams Honda. Their machine, driven by Keke Rosberg, managed to finish fifth.

Only a few members of Honda’s F-1 team had experienced the company’s early days in F-1 racing, with the team comprised mostly of young engineers who had no experience in F-1. Honda’s aim in assembling young engineers was to foster in the demanding, most-challenging environment of racing the skills and knowledge of these people, who would lead the company’s product development in the future.

Still, the majority of fans expected their Honda to win anyway.

The Challenging Spirit of Honda

1990 - 1999
  1. The Birth of Twin Ring Motegi / 1997The Birth of Twin Ring Motegi / 1997
  2. Entry to Champ Car Racing / 1994Entry to Champ Car Racing / 1994
  3. Odyssey / 1994Odyssey / 1994
  4. Establishment of Honda Taiyo, Kibo-no-Sato Honda and Honda R&D Taiyo / 1992Establishment of Honda Taiyo, Kibo-no-Sato Honda and Honda R&D Taiyo / 1992
  5. Hosting Hosting "Orei-no-kai" / 1991
  6. The NSX / 1990The NSX / 1990
1980 - 1989
  1. The VTEC Engine / 1989The VTEC Engine / 1989
  2. Honda EV Plus: The Dream of an Electric Vehicle / 1988Honda EV Plus: The Dream of an Electric Vehicle / 1988
  3. An Automated Line for Painting and Coating / 1988An Automated Line for Painting and Coating / 1988
  4. Four-Wheel Steering System (4WS) / 1987Four-Wheel Steering System (4WS) / 1987
  5. The Airbag System / 1987The Airbag System / 1987
  6. The ZE Engine (GX110 / 140 / 240 / 270 / 340 Series) / 1983The ZE Engine (GX110 / 140 / 240 / 270 / 340 Series) / 1983
  7. Formula One Entry / 1983Formula One Entry / 1983
  8. Development of Honda's Franz System Car / 1982Development of Honda's Franz System Car / 1982
  9. The World's Smallest Welding Line / 1982The World's Smallest Welding Line / 1982
  10. Transfer Lines for Modular Components / 1981Transfer Lines for Modular Components / 1981
  11. The Car Navigation System / 1981The Car Navigation System / 1981
  12. City / 1981City / 1981
  13. The F200 The F200 "Komame" Mini-Tiller / 1980
  14. Establishing Honda of America Manufacturing / 1980Establishing Honda of America Manufacturing / 1980
1970 - 1979
  1. The Oval Piston Engine / 1979The Oval Piston Engine / 1979
  2. Returning to the World Motorcycle Grand Prix / 1979Returning to the World Motorcycle Grand Prix / 1979
  3. The HR21 Lawn Mower / 1978The HR21 Lawn Mower / 1978
  4. Creating Hometown Forests / 1977Creating Hometown Forests / 1977
  5. The ME Engine (G100 / 150 / 200 / 300 / 400 Series) / 1977The ME Engine (G100 / 150 / 200 / 300 / 400 Series) / 1977
  6. Introducing the Accord / 1976Introducing the Accord / 1976
  7. CG125 / 1975CG125 / 1975
  8. Establishment of Honda Engineering / 1974Establishment of Honda Engineering / 1974
  9. Company Leaders Honda and Fujisawa Retire; Kawashima Assumes Presidency / 1973Company Leaders Honda and Fujisawa Retire; Kawashima Assumes Presidency / 1973
  10. Announcing the Civic / 1972Announcing the Civic / 1972
  11. Introducing the CVCC / 1972Introducing the CVCC / 1972
  12. Holding All Honda Idea Contests / 1970Holding All Honda Idea Contests / 1970
  13. Launching the Office of Safe Driving Promotional Operations / 1970Launching the Office of Safe Driving Promotional Operations / 1970
1960 - 1969
  1. The Dream CB750 FOUR / 1969The Dream CB750 FOUR / 1969
  2. Launching the Honda 1300 / 1968Launching the Honda 1300 / 1968
  3. The Hondamatic Transmission / 1968The Hondamatic Transmission / 1968
  4. Entering the Auto Market at Last / 1966Entering the Auto Market at Last / 1966
  5. The E300 Portable Generator / 1965The E300 Portable Generator / 1965
  6. Formula One Entry / 1964Formula One Entry / 1964
  7. Kyoto: Celebrating the Company's 15th Anniversary / 1963Kyoto: Celebrating the Company's 15th Anniversary / 1963
  8. Establishing Belgium Honda / 1963Establishing Belgium Honda / 1963
  9. Launching the S360 and T360 / 1962Launching the S360 and T360 / 1962
  10. Employing the Employing the "My Record" Project and Expert Certification / 1960
  11. The R&D Center Goes Independent / 1960The R&D Center Goes Independent / 1960
1950 - 1959
  1. Establishing American Honda Motor Co. / 1959Establishing American Honda Motor Co. / 1959

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