JULY 13, 2022

Honda not ruling out full F1 return in 2026

Honda is keeping the door to Formula 1 ajar.

Sergio Perez, Austrian GP 2022
© Red Bull

Honda is keeping the door to Formula 1 ajar.

We reported over the Austrian GP weekend that a powerful Honda delegation was trackside at the Red Bull Ring, including the Japanese carmaker's president and CEO Toshihiro Mibe.

It is believed Red Bull is poised to announce a works engine collaboration with Porsche for 2026 and beyond, but until then Honda could be looking to add its name to the energy drink-owned team's cars once again for 2023-2025.

Others, however, believe a full return to Honda could be on the cards for 2026 - and the Austrian GP delegation didn't deny it.

"Formula 1 is the pinnacle of motorsport," said Koji Watanabe, president of Honda's HRC sports division.

"We therefore always keep an eye on what is happening in Formula 1," he added.

"Internally, we have not discussed anything regarding the 2026 season. There is no plan. But the door isn't closed."

Although the 'Red Bull Powertrains" power unit in the back of Red Bull's 2022 car is technically a Honda, the carmaker decided to pull out of the sport in an official capacity at the end of last year in order to focus on greener technologies.

But with F1 now poised to finalise all-new rules for 2026, Honda could once again be interested.

"As I understand it, it's going towards carbon neutrality," Watanabe is quoted by Sport1.

"Honda is going in the same direction. So we wouldn't have to deviate from this plan with Formula 1," he added.

"If we do want to return to Formula 1 in 2026, we probably need a decision in the next one to one and a half years."