Honda have taken a step towards a possible F1 return by registering interest with the FIA for the 2026 engine rules.
The manufacturer officially exited the sport at the end of 2021 to focus on electrification, but agreed to continue to provide technical assistance to the Red Bull Powertrains department with the current power units being raced by Red Bull and AlphaTauri.
Due to the success of the partnership, the initial technical agreement – which had provided for support until the end of 2023 – was extended until the end of 2025 over the summer.
Red Bull Powertrains are set to manufacture their own power units in line with new engine regulations set to be introduced in 2026.
However, speculation over a possible Honda return increased after plans for a Red Bull and Porsche partnership for 2026 fell through.
As RacingNews365.com previously revealed, up to seven brands could enter the championship under next-gen regulations after the deadline was extended to mid-November, with Honda amongst the prospective candidates.
Honda Racing president Koji Watanabe has since confirmed at the company's 2023 Honda Motor Sports Activity Plan Presentation, reports Autosport, that they have registered interest as a power unit manufacturer from 2026.
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What does this mean for Honda?
The move does not mean that Honda will definitely enter from 2026, but it allows the company to take part in discussions on the topic within the sport.
Any work undertaken by Honda towards a possible entry would have to follow all regulations in regards to the budget cap and development rules.
F1 engine rules will change in 2026, with the units running on fully sustainable fuels and more electric power, which falls in line with Honda's goals as a manufacturer.
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