Honda Chief Executive Masashi Yamamoto has revealed the construction of Red Bull's and AlphaTauri's 2022 power unit will stay the same as their current engine, although there will be performance updates.
In October 2020, Honda announced their departure from Formula 1 at the end of this year, with Red Bull confirming that they will take over the running of the Honda engines from next season through 2024.
The introduction of a freeze on power unit development from the beginning of 2022 allowed Red Bull to create Red Bull Powertrains, knowing that they will not be at a disadvantage due to the engine freeze.
RacingNews365.com asked Yamamoto in an exclusive interview whether next year's power unit will be similar to the current model.
"So basically, it's based on this year's [engine], because it's quite new compared to last year's," Yamamoto explained. "It's different and we will make it to fit the new regulations for next year. So basically it's the same.
"It's going to be the last homologation, so we are doing as much as possible in terms of performance updates as well.
"We are going to support as much as possible the technical side in order for both teams [Red Bull and AlphaTauri] to be competitive. On the marketing side it will be minimum support [from Honda].
"We are almost equal with Mercedes in terms of reliability and performance."
Honda partnered with Red Bull in 2019 and had success with them in their first year together as Max Verstappen won three races. This season, Honda have been able to mount a serious title challenge with Red Bull, but it has not changed their opinion on the decision to leave F1.
"We are finishing the project after this year and we are going to focus on carbon neutral and also electric," said Yamamoto when asked whether Honda could return to F1 in the future.
"About the future, we have a new CEO from this April, so he may be considering something, but at the moment, we can't really say anything.
"The main reason is that we are using our best engineers from the company in F1 to catch up [to] Mercedes. So we want to use them in electrification and also [the] carbon-neutral project."