Formula One Entry: The Second Phase / 1983

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

Formula One Entry: The Second Phase / 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.

Photo

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

A System that Fosters Expertise
  1. A System that Fosters ExpertiseA System that Fosters Expertise
  2. The R&D Center Goes Independent / 1960The R&D Center Goes Independent / 1960
  3. Employing the "My Record" Project and Expert Certification  / 1960Employing the "My Record" Project and Expert Certification / 1960
A Dream Come True: Car Builder for the World
  1. A Dream Come True: Car Builder for the WorldA Dream Come True: Car Builder for the World
  2. Launching the S360 and T360 / 1962Launching the S360 and T360 / 1962
  3. Entering the Auto Market at Last / 1966Entering the Auto Market at Last / 1966
  4. Introducing N360 / 1967Introducing N360 / 1967
  5. Launching the Honda 1300 / 1968Launching the Honda 1300 / 1968
  6. Introducing the CVCC / 1972Introducing the CVCC / 1972
  7. Announcing the Civic / 1972Announcing the Civic / 1972
  8. Introducing the Accord / 1976Introducing the Accord / 1976
Marketing Globally, Producing Lacally
  1. Marketing Globally, Producing LocallyMarketing Globally, Producing Locally
  2. Establishing American Honda Motor Co. / 1959Establishing American Honda Motor Co. / 1959
  3. Establishing Belgium Honda / 1963Establishing Belgium Honda / 1963
  4. Establishing Honda of America Manufacturing / 1980Establishing Honda of America Manufacturing / 1980
A Refreshing New Development
  1. A Refreshing New DevelopmentA Refreshing New Development
Products Emerging From Technology and Innovation
  1. Products Emerging From Technology and InnovationProducts Emerging From Technology and Innovation
  2. The Oval Piston Engine / 1979The Oval Piston Engine / 1979
  3. The Hondamatic Transmission / 1968The Hondamatic Transmission / 1968
  4. The Car Navigation System / 1981The Car Navigation System / 1981
  5. The Airbag System / 1987The Airbag System / 1987
  6. Four-Wheel Steering System (4WS) / 1987Four-Wheel Steering System (4WS) / 1987
  7. The VTEC Engine / 1989The VTEC Engine / 1989
  8. The ME Engine (G100 / 150 / 200 / 300 / 400 Series) / 1977The ME Engine (G100 / 150 / 200 / 300 / 400 Series) / 1977
  9. The ZE Engine (GX110 / 140 / 240 / 270 / 340 Series) / 1983The ZE Engine (GX110 / 140 / 240 / 270 / 340 Series) / 1983
  10. The Dream CB750 FOUR / 1969The Dream CB750 FOUR / 1969
  11. CG125 / 1975CG125 / 1975
  12. Road Pal / 1976Road Pal / 1976
  13. City / 1981City / 1981
  14. The NSX / 1990The NSX / 1990
  15. Odyssey / 1994Odyssey / 1994
  16. Honda EV Plus: The Dream of an Electric Vehicle / 1988Honda EV Plus: The Dream of an Electric Vehicle / 1988
  17. The E300 Portable Generator / 1965The E300 Portable Generator / 1965
  18. The HR21 Lawn Mower / 1978The HR21 Lawn Mower / 1978
  19. The F200 "Komame" Mini-Tiller / 1980The F200 "Komame" Mini-Tiller / 1980
Production Technology: The Essence of Creative Manufacturing
  1. Production Technology: The Essence of Creative ManufaturingProduction Technology: The Essence of Creative Manufaturing
  2. Establishment of Honda Engineering / 1974Establishment of Honda Engineering / 1974
  3. The World's Smallest Welding Line / 1982The World's Smallest Welding Line / 1982
  4. Transfer Lines for Modular Components / 1981Transfer Lines for Modular Components / 1981
  5. An Automated Line for Painting and Coating / 1988An Automated Line for Painting and Coating / 1988
A Neverending Passion for Racing
  1. A Neverending Passion for RacingA Neverending Passion for Racing
  2. Completion of Suzuka Circuit / 1962Completion of Suzuka Circuit / 1962
  3. Returning to the World Motorcycle Grand Prix / 1979Returning to the World Motorcycle Grand Prix / 1979
  4. Formula One Entry: The Initial Phase / 1964Formula One Entry: The Initial Phase / 1964
  5. Formula One Entry: The Second Phase / 1983Formula One Entry: The Second Phase / 1983
  6. Entry to Champ Car Racing / 1994Entry to Champ Car Racing / 1994
  7. The Birth of Twin Ring Motegi / 1997The Birth of Twin Ring Motegi / 1997
Creativity - The Way to Work Harder, Play Harder
  1. Creativity – The Way to Work Harder, Play Harder Creativity – The Way to Work Harder, Play Harder
  2. Holding All Honda Idea Contests / 1970Holding All Honda Idea Contests / 1970
People and Society Coexisting in Harmony with Nature
  1. People and Society Coexisting in Harmony with NaturePeople and Society Coexisting in Harmony with Nature
  2. 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
  3. Creating Hometown Forests / 1977Creating Hometown Forests / 1977
  4. Hosting "Orei-no-kai" / 1991Hosting "Orei-no-kai" / 1991

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