Honda has registered its interest in returning to F1 as an engine manufacturer from 2026.
The Japanese manufacturer left the sport at the end of the 2021 season having assisted Red Bull's push against Mercedes that resulted in Max Verstappen's maiden world championship title.
The exit was put down to restructuring to meet environmental targets in-house at Sakura, although a partnership with Red Bull remains in a technological agreement.
But with F1 introducing new power unit regulations from 2026 in its own push to reach Net Zero by 2030, Honda has moved to open the door for a return as a supplier.
It would take the number of OEMs to six alongside Mercedes, Ferrari, Renault, Red Bull and Audi, with Porsche still deliberating over its own position.
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However, a new partnership with Red Bull and its powertrains branch would not be ruled out given the ongoing relationship between the two parties.
“As HRC, we have registered as a PU manufacturer after 2026,” said Honda Racing president Koji Watanabe during Honda’s 2023 Honda Motor Sports Activity Plan Presentation, as translated by Motorsport Japan.
“The F1 regulations from 2026 onwards are moving in the direction of carbon neutrality.
“In addition, the fact that electrification is also being promoted, and the carbon neutrality and electrification that Honda Motor Co., Ltd. is promoting, is the same. The targets match.
"As a racing company, we have registered as a manufacturer in order to advance research on racing.
“There is also the fact that November 15 was the [registration] deadline. We have registered as a manufacturer in order to continue [the research].”