Honda is not ruling out a return to Formula 1 as a power unit supplier, the Japanese auto-maker’s motorsports manager, Masaya Nagai, has said.
However, with Formula 1 agreeing an engine freeze from 2022 to 2025, Red Bull inked a deal with Honda to take over the intellectual property of their power units and continue to run them over the coming seasons.
The sport will adopt a new engine formula at the end of 2025, and discussions regarding what this new formula should look like are ongoing.
However, Nagai has revealed that Honda isn’t partaking in these discussions, though he said there may come a time when the car-maker wants to return to F1.
“We are not involved in this,” he said in an interview with the Japanese edition of Motorsport.com.
“We have publicly announced that we are no longer participating in Formula 1, so if we were to talk about 2025 and beyond at this point, we would not be able to make a responsible statement. So we have refrained from doing that.”
After a troubled partnership with McLaren in the opening years of the V6 turbo-hybrid era, Honda have made significant strides forward and their power unit is roughly on par with that of Mercedes.
Nagai, however, said that this in itself isn’t a reason for Honda to re-evaluate their decision to exit Formula 1.
“I don’t think it’s as easy as saying that because we’re doing so well, we should do it again,” he said.
“The power units will change in the future. The way we race may also change in the context of the carbon-neutral trend. If there is an apex race that we can compete in, we may consider entering it. There may come a time when that happens.
“We are not thinking at this point about how many years it will be until we are back.
“We are not thinking about going back in years, but we are really hoping that by doing F1 now, we can show the company that racing and motorsport are important to us,” Nagai concluded.