President and CEO, Honda Motor Co
Why did Honda return to Formula One?
We withdrew from F1 because we wanted to concentrate all our technical resources on developing cleaner Hondas. With the Z-LEV Accord and IMA motor system, we can say we have achieved it. Now it is time to re-enter F1. It is also necessary for our image in Europe.
Does Honda's return to Formula One in 2000 mean you will quit the US CART series?
Not at all. The CART racing engine program is paid and run by American Honda. The F1 program will be the direct responsibility of Honda R&D Co. of Japan.
Is F1 racing really important for Honda in Europe?
Absolutely. Our image and brand recognition in Europe had been steadily declining since we retired from F1. For this reason our return is a huge commitment, not only on the technical side - this time building also our own chassis and racing team - but also in terms of duration: not less than 10 years.