Next year Honda return to Formula One with McLaren – a classic combination that evokes memories of the dominance of Prost and Senna. But Honda have had a long standing on-off relationship with F1, the first stint of which started way back in 1964.
Their cars were known for their superb engines but not-so-superb chassis, though that didn’t stop the likes of John Surtees and Richie Ginther from taking podiums and wins for the team. Honda withdrew from F1 at the end of 1968 after Jo Schlesser was tragically killed driving the experimental Honda RA302 at the French Grand Prix; they wouldn’t return until 1983 when they supplied engines to the tiny Spirit team.
This cracking video from Honda may be all in Japanese, but it has some great footage of the cars and tracks and it gives a great insight into what Formula One looked like in the sixties.
I’m looking forward to Part 2: The Skeletor Years.