Honda F1 boss Masashi Yamamoto has insisted that the manufacturer had no intention to discuss staying in Formula 1 as they leave the sport following the close of the 2021 season.
Honda powered Red Bull between 2019 and this year, having taken AlphaTauri on board in 2018 when they were named Toro Rosso.
This followed three awful seasons in partnership with McLaren, and the Red Bull teams have been exclusively served by the Japanese company for the last three years.
Red Bull won 15 races powered by Honda and claimed the drivers championship with Verstappen this year in a dramatic final round of the season.
Honda will now depart F1 ahead of 2022, with Red Bull acquiring the intellectual property of its power unit.
As such, the team will make their own engines from 2022 onwards, and Yamamoto is sad to leave the sport following their success with the Dutchman.
“Leaving F1 was a very big decision for Honda, and it was for the carbon-neutral and also for the customers all over the world,” Yamamoto said.
The 57-year-old, however, maintains that there were no conversations pertaining to sticking around heading into 2022.
“Although we’re having good results this year, we never had a discussion to stay here,” he insisted.
Although Red Bull will be making the engines themselves, Yamamoto has affirmed that themselves and AlphaTauri do not have to be alone in the project.
He said that Honda will be happy to provide assistance where necessary, but the bulk of the efforts will come from Red Bull’s newly formed powertrains division.
“It will be totally controlled by Red Bull but in accordance with Red Bull’s request and also to support as much as possible the F1 activity for AlphaTauri and Red Bull,” said Yamamoto, adding: “Honda will do our best.”
Verstappen will partner Sergio Perez once more in 2022, while AlphaTauri have retained their driver line-up of Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda, who was backed by Honda.