Honda can match Mercedes, Arai reaffirms

Honda’s motorsport chief, Yasuhisa Arai, has reiterated his belief that the Japanese manufacturer will be able to match current power unit pace-setters Mercedes when it returns to Formula 1 next season.

Honda, last involved in the sport as a works team in 2008, has been quietly ramping up preparations for its comeback as McLaren’s engine supplier, reigniting a partnership that previously ran between 1988 and 1992.

“I have confidence that we will match Mercedes,” said Arai in an interview with the official Formula 1 website.

Arai also moved to dispel fears that Honda could endure the same struggles as rivals Renault and Ferrari.

“I can imagine that Mercedes found the perfect balance between their chassis and power unit and that the others didn’t find that balance,” he said. “We work together with McLaren as one team – this is the only way to go.

“I think that the two other suppliers will recover next season – I strongly believe that. And we will be there too.”

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