Honda in demand after ‘multiple F1 teams’ contact
By Ian Parkes
Tuesday 21st February, 2023 - 7:30am
Honda has confirmed contact with “multiple Formula 1 teams” after throwing its hat into the ring for the sport’s new engine era in 2026.
But the Japanese manufacturing giant has insisted there are no firm plans in place to make a return.
Honda officially withdrew from F1 at the end of the 2021 season after helping power Max Verstappen to his first drivers’ title.
The company then reached an agreement with Red Bull and AlphaTauri to continue to oversee power unit manufacture and maintenance through to the end of 2025.
Red Bull has since announced a partnership with Ford that will assist with the development of the F1 team’s own systems via its new in-house Powertrains department.
Honda, however, continues to keep a watching brief on Formula 1, and was one of six manufacturers recently announced by the FIA as a potential supplier from 2026.
“After we made the registration we have been contacted by multiple Formula 1 teams,” said Honda Racing Corporation president Koji Watanabe via a Zoom press briefing.
“For the time being, we would like to keep a close eye on where Formula 1 is going and just see how things go.
“For now, we don’t have any concrete decisions on whether or not we will be going back to joining Formula 1.
“But we think being part of Formula 1 is going to help us with technological development, so that is where we are.”
F1 electrification interesting Honda
Watanabe has confirmed that F1’s route towards carbon neutrality and electrification have forced it to reconsider its position.
Formula 1 has vowed to be carbon neutral by the end of 2030, whilst the complicated and expensive MGU-H element of the hybrid PUs will be removed from 2026.
The new system will also run on 100 percent sustainable and synthetic fuels.
“Formula 1 is greatly shifting towards electrification,” said Watanabe.
“Carbon neutrality is our corporate-wide target at Honda, so we think that Formula 1’s future direction is in line with our target.
“That is why we have decided to register as a manufacturer of a power unit.
“We are curious about where Formula 1 is going, being the top racing category, and how that is going to look with more electrification happening
“We would like to keep a very close eye on that.”
Join the discussion below in the Speedcafe.com comments section
Please note: Speedcafe.com reserves the right to remove any comment that does not follow the comment policy. For support, contact [email protected]