HONDA logo to make a return on Red Bull and AlphaTauri cars from Japanese GP onwards
There will be increased Honda branding on the Red Bull and AlphaTauri Formula 1 cars from this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix.
The current Honda Racing Company logo will move to the nose, with a general Honda brand logo taking its place instead on the side of both the RB18 and the AT03 for the rest of 2022.
This is what Franz Tost (team principal of AlphaTauri) and Koji Watanabe (President of HRC) had to say:
The timing of the announcement is no surprise as F1 returns to Honda’s home Japanese GP for the first time since 2019.
Honda powered Red Bull to the 2021 F1 driver's championship, but it was denied a chance to bid farewell to its home fans before its exit as an F1 engine supplier at the end of 2021.
Honda is now effectively a contractor for Red Bull, with the team’s engines built by the Japanese company.
Earlier this week, a high level meeting with Honda and Red Bull took place in Tokyo that likely discussed Honda’s future for the next few seasons and potentially its post 2026 plans for when F1 will introduce a new set of engine regulations.
That new set of engine regulations will involve F1 dropping the MGU-H and replacing that lost electrical power with a more potent MGU-K.
Honda is believed to be interested in producing the hybrid element while Red Bull’s own Red Bull Powertrains division could produce the Internal Combustion Engine.
The announcement of this revised branding deal was first reported in July and is believed to be the first step in an expansion of its current partnership where Honda effectively receives no credit.
Discussions over Honda’s potential return to F1 as a fully fledged engine partner are ongoing and although the talks are believed to have gone well, nothing has been approved by the Honda board as of yet.
Along with the return of the the Honda logo on the Red Bull and AlphaTauri cars, multiple Grand Prix winner Sergio Pérez will take on an ambassador role for the driving academy of Honda Racing School (HRS). Pérez will begin his role with a lecture session for HRS students in November 2022. And HRC THANKS DAY will be held on November 27, 2022. Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda from Scuderia AlphaTauri and Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez, from Oracle Red Bull Racing, will also be in attendance.