Honda ‘not necessarily’ set for full 2026 F1 return

Wed, 14 December 2022, 08:00

Dec.14 (GMM) It is not yet certain that Honda will definitely return to Formula 1 with a fully-fledged works factory effort in 2026.

That is despite the fact that the Japanese carmaker, currently involved at Red Bull with technical support from Honda Racing Corporation and on-car branding, has signed up for the sport’s next set of engine rules.

A report by the specialist Japanese source as-web.jp said full Honda logos will be on Red Bull’s 2023 car.

As for 2026, however, Honda Racing Corporation (HRC) president Yasuharu Watanabe said that despite telling the FIA that the marque is signing up, it is not yet clear that Honda’s full return to F1 will actually happen.

“The regulations from 2026 are moving in the direction of carbon neutrality and electrification, and that is line with the basic direction of Honda Motor Company,” said Watanabe.

“Therefore, as a race company, we registered as a manufacturer in order to continue to research. But registration does not mean re-entering Formula 1.

“It means we have registered as a manufacturer in order to continue accelerating the research of F1, which is the pinnacle.

“But to avoid misunderstandings, it does not mean that we will rejoin necessarily. It means we can start discussing the technology and it will give us hints about how to make the car carbon-neutral and electrified,” the Japanese added.

“We are providing technical support to Red Bull under the current regulations, but we have no plans to talk with Red Bull after 2026,” Watanabe insisted.

Another HRC executive, racing development manager Yasuaki Asaki, agrees that Honda is keenly interested in “what kind of F1 will survive in a carbon-neutral society”.

“I read that the internal combustion engine and the electrical output will be about the same, and I think for that sense of survival it is very good,” he said.

“For that reason, we are researching what kind of PU can be competitive so we are registering as a manufacturer and will consider what we can do.”

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