The Honda RA271 was the first Japanese car to race F1 – powered by a 1.5L V12 engine. We were one of only a few teams that built both power unit and chassis. It was purebred; Honda through and through.
In ’65, driver Richie Ginther joined Honda’s ranks. At the last race of the year, he blitzed the Mexico track to lead all the way from lights out to chequered flag. It was a momentous win for us. But there was still work to do.
The ‘65 season also saw us unveil the Honda RA272. Famous for its roaring 48-valve V12 water-cooled engine, it squeezed out 230bhp with rapid acceleration.
The extraordinary win at the Italian GP was our RA300’s very first race. Sitting within the cigar-shaped chassis, the car was powered by a 48-valve, V12 Honda engine complete with ‘waterfall’ exhaust arrangement.
After 15 years, F1’s technological evolution coaxed us back to the paddock. Our revival took the shape of the 1.5L V6 turbo RA163E, supplied to Williams and Spirit. It felt good to be back.
F1 is constantly evolving. And ’83 was no different. Electronically-controlled fuel injection technology was introduced, so we engineered PGM-F1. The result was cleaner combustion and better fuel efficiency.
The grit of our RA166E V6 turbo engine ruled the track, and we took home the Constructors’ Championship. Despite missing the Drivers’ win by just two points, ‘86 marked the beginning of a golden era for Honda.
In ’87, our time had come. Powering both Lotus and Williams, we claimed the Drivers’ and Constructors’ World Championships. The victory Soichiro Honda had always dreamt of.
The Williams-Honda FW11 was considered one of the most powerful cars of the ’86 season. With our brand new RA166E V6 turbo engine, the car pushed out over a 1,000bhp.
Senna sits in his car ready for the Canadian Grand Prix.
In the season of ‘89, turbos were banned. We opted for a V10 while the competition chose V8s and V12s. Our strategy triumphed. The McLaren-Honda team bagged the Constructors’ Championship yet again – this time with Prost taking the Drivers’ title.
In the ’89 season, Prost sealed his Championship with 11 podium finishes. Senna tailed him by just 16 points.
With the BAR-Honda team in its 4th season, we took 2nd place in the Constructors’ Championship. Jenson Button finished 3rd in the Drivers’ runnings, claiming 10 podium finishes for the team.
Button celebrates a 3rd place finish at the Malaysian Grand Prix.
In ’07, we wanted to promote the importance of the environment. Working with our sponsors, we styled our car with just a single image of planet Earth – free of traditional advertising. It made a stir. In today’s F1, efficiency is now a core technological challenge.