Dec.13 (GMM) Honda has signalled its intention to return to Formula 1 in earnest for the new engine regulations from 2026.
The Japanese carmaker, having withdrawn as Red Bull’s works partner after Max Verstappen’s 2021 title win, remained with the team with technical support and ‘Honda Racing Corporation’ branding this year.
Towards the end of the season, the Honda logos remained in earnest – particularly after Red Bull’s 2026 talks with Porsche came to nought.
And now, Auto Motor und Sport says Honda has now officially signed up as a works engine manufacturer for the new regulations beginning in 2026.
“But the Japanese no longer want to ally themselves with Red Bull,” reported correspondents Michael Schmidt and Andreas Haupt.
“Honda is looking for a new team, although an official comeback has not yet been announced. But they already have their foot in the door.”
Red Bull is determined to basically go it alone from 2026 with its own ‘Red Bull Powertrains’ division – although it could team up with a mainly financial and marketing partnership with Ford.
“The F1 regulations that will arrive from 2026 go in the direction of carbon neutrality,” Koji Watanabe, president of Honda Racing Corporation, is quoted by France’s Auto Hebdo.
“Also, the fact that electrification is promoted, and that carbon neutrality as well as the electrification of the Honda brand is on the table as well, that fits perfectly,” he added.
“As a motorsport company, we registered as an engine manufacturer to continue to do our research.”