Honda is set for a return to Formula One as an engine supplier to leading team McLaren, according to strong speculation in the sport.

McLaren F1 car 2013

The move would reunite the McLaren-Honda partnership that dominated F1 in the late 1980s and early 1990s - including the most successful season in history when the team won 15 out of 16 races with drivers Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost.

Honda was last in Formula One in 2008 when it operated its own team before selling it to Brawn GP, which went on to win the 2009 title with Jenson Button.

The company's biggest successes in the sport, however, have come as an engine supplier, and it's understood the Japanese company is tempted by new technical regulations that will see hybrid turbo engines come into effect from 2014.

Formula One cars will switch from their current 2.4-litre V8 engines to 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engines, with a great share of the racing car's power produced by energy recovery systems.

McLaren – pictured in 2013 testing action above – has been using Mercedes engines since 1995, though the Anglo-German alliance hasn't been as tight since Mercedes formed its own team in 2010.