Japanese carmaker Honda is looking for an English factory to base its engine development program as they prepare to return to Formula 1 as engine suppliers from 2015.

Honda sold its previous base to Ross Brawn when the former Ferrari Technical Chief bought the team in late 2008, now base is now used by Mercedes.

In the media statement that revealed Honda's 2015 link-up with McLaren, Honda confirmed development had begun in Japan.

Only three of the current 11 teams not based in the UK and all of the current F1 suppliers based in Europe, Honda is looking to take advantage of the benefits that come with having a base around F1's 'Silicon Valley' around the Silverstone circuit and the South of England.

Another reason for the move will to be near McLaren's headquarters at Woking, the pair are setting up a partnership very similar to that between McLaren and Mercedes so having their technology centres close to each other will help in that partnership.

It's been suggested that Honda may look at Cosworth's current F1 facility as the engine supplier is expected to pull out at the end of this year with its only customer Marussia linked with a move to Ferrari engines.

The move to an UK base would also suggest Honda are hoping to supply other teams with engines from 2015, the deal with McLaren is not exclusive and should the price be right many of the midfield teams could switch to Honda power.

In particular the teams currently with Renault engines could see an opportunity, many of the current customers Caterham, Williams and Lotus are said to be unhappy with the price tag Renault are placing on the 2014 spec engines, a tag believed to be between €20-23m, and certainly Caterham and Williams could be looking at McLaren's decision and make the switch as well.

 

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