Singapore – Formula One chief Chase Carey said on Wednesday he was confident that Honda was in F1 for the long haul as reports said McLaren was about to confirm its split with the Japanese engine-maker.
Carey met Honda executives at this month’s Italian Grand Prix and said they seemed excited about the future of Formula One, despite the company’s troubled return to the sport.
McLaren are strongly rumoured to be on the verge of going with Renault engines rather than Honda’s, whose power units have been notoriously unreliable and under-powered.
Reports say the Japanese manufacturer, which returned to F1 in 2015, is about to join forces with Toro Rosso, the secondary team of multiple world champions Red Bull.
“Honda’s a very important partner,” Carey said at the All That Matters conference in Singapore, ahead of Sunday’s grand prix in the city.
“I’ve had meetings with Honda executives around Monza. They seemed excited about where we’re going with the sport,” he said.
“I’m not going to speak for Honda. All I can say is, for us they seem committed to the future, seem excited by the future, seem excited about where we’re going with the sport.”
Carey also said he supported a revamp of F1’s system of penalties, after laughable scenes in Italy when nine drivers were sanctioned a total of 150 grid places, mainly for technical infractions.
“The penalty structure clearly has gotten to a place that nobody says is functioning the way we like, when we had the better part or half the grid with some sort of penalty that nobody could understand at Monza,” Carey said.
“Technology is an important part of it but you don’t want it to be a sport about engineering first and foremost,” he added. “You want it to be a sport about drivers and great competition that utilises state-of-the-art competition.”