Formula 1 is the top motorsport category, so we are always watching what is happening in the F1 world. Of course, we just finished and concluded our activities, so nothing [has been] discussed within the Honda company about [the] 2026 season. So, no plan.”
“[But] it is not a closed door,” added the Honda exec. “My understanding is that F1 is discussing to decide the regulations for 2026, and definitely the direction is carbon neutrality. That is the same direction as us. So, we don’t have to [diverge] from carbon neutrality through F1 now. It is probably also a good opportunity to study carbon neutral F1. So, it’s not a closed door.”
In order to seriously consider returning to F1 in an official capacity, Honda would first need to get its battery electric road car program running smoothly, said Watanabe, who was then asked what the key factors would be for his employer to give the go-ahead on returning to F1.
As for the time frame for a decision regarding their F1 return, Watanabe stated that Honda would probably “need to decide within 1-1.5 years,”.
The HRC exec went on to add that his company is also eying more exposure within Red Bull and AlphaTauri, where instead of it just saying ‘HRC’ on the cars, we would once again see ‘Honda’ branding.