Honda cannot keep itself away from F1, it seems. The Japanese giant is set to make a return to the sport, not as a constructor or an engine partner but as a sponsor.
Honda will sponsor the 2022 F1 Japanese GP. Koji Watanabe, the Operating Executive and Head of Corporate Communications Supervisory Unit at Honda said about their return to the sport:
“It is great pleasure for Honda to be named as the title sponsor of the F1 Japanese Grand Prix to be held at the Suzuka Circuit, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year.”
“In this year’s Japanese Grand Prix, 10 teams including Oracle Red Bull Racing and Scuderia AlphaTauri, which Honda supports as a team partner, will compete with 20 drivers who will demonstrate their driving skills and talent at the highest peak in the world of racing.”
“By contributing to this outstanding Grand Prix, Honda will continue supporting the further promotion and popularisation of motorsports in Japan.”
Honda was a part of the sport till last season when it left the sport. The brand left on the high, as it won the drivers’ championship with Max Verstappen and Red Bull.
The Japanese manufacturer culminated a seven-year stint in which they were first ridiculed as a power unit supplier to McLaren in their early years till they transformed themsevels with Red Bull and had the best power unit on the grid in the 2021 F1 season.
Honda could return to F1 in 2026
Honda’s departure from the sport was a slightly surprising one. It left Red Bull without a power unit supplier, a problem that the Milton Keynes outfit was able to solve by putting in place the Red Bull Powertrains division, which are basically rebadged Honda power units.
The massive automotive manufacturer left because it felt that the sport’s vision did not coincide with Honda’s vision of sustainability. However, the Japanese manufacturer did leave the door open for a return should the conditions seem fit.
If some of the rumors are to be believed, Honda is planning a return to the sport in the 2026 season. How it will do it and in what capacity remains to be seen.