Enzo Ferrari once affirmed that he did not sell cars, but engines. He threw in the car for free since something has to hold the engines. This might sound a bit extreme, but somehow proves that engines have always been a paramount component in car performance, especially when it comes to motor racing.  F1 history shows that Honda’s success in engine supplying was definitely not replicated in team management, as these are activities that require a completely different set of technical as well as soft skills. However, being a world leading car manufacturer, Honda cannot stay out of the huge technological revolution that F1 is pushing, whose outcomes of hybrid and – more in general – efficient engines have started to be applied in the automobile industry. Looking at balance sheets, F1 racing might not look as a very profitable business, but the returns in research and development provide a source of competitive advantage for all the firms who are able to transfer the innovations to other industries. Since both McLaren and Honda have a stake in the car market, it would be interesting to see whether this alliance will be replicated in the automobile industry too, and how this will influence their race strategies.


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