Honda to become independent engine manufacturer

Honda has registered independently in 2026 power unit regulations with the FIA.

Honda to become independent engine manufacturer

The Japanese engine manufacturer previously withdrew from F1 at the end of 2021 although the engines continued to be used by Red Bull and AlphaTauri.

Honda are currently partnered with the Red Bull Powertrains, with the contract expiring at the end of 2025. They are now looking to a big return in 2026 and discussing the rules closely, with some research and development still being undertaken.

Honda has registered with the FIA to be a 2026 power unit manufacturer. More importantly, Red Bull Powertrains is also registering separately.

Although registering interest does not mean binding entry and does not indicate Honda will definitely be part of F1 in 2026.

This means Red bull could develop engines themselves, and Honda joining a different team. This also means Honda will become more independent from Red bull in 2026 and decide future themselves.

F1’s planned ‘100% sustainable fuel’ for 2026 and the hybrid system’s battery (energy store in F1 speak) are the items most obviously compatible with Honda’s commitment to prioritising new carbon-neutral technologies, which was its official rationale for leaving F1 in the first place.

Shinji Aoyama, Honda’s senior managing executive officer, said at the company’s ‘motorsports activity plan’ presentation on Monday that the “realisation of carbon neutrality” is a “crucial mission” for Honda to pursue in F1.

"Honda has already been conducting research and development of technologies for carbon neutrality while proactively leveraging the field of motorsports,” he said.

“From now onward, we will further enhance our initiatives to put such technologies into practical use in our racing activities.”

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