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Honda have been “contacted by multiple F1 teams” – but who? | F1

With the FIA confirming earlier this month that Honda remain interested in remaining in F1 when the new engine regulations are introduced.

Honda are among five other manufacturers – Mercedes, Ferrari, Alpine, Audi and Red Bull-Ford – eyeing up 2026.

However, unlike the other five, Honda have no clear route back into F1.

In a recent press conference, Honda Racing Corporation president Koji Watanabe said: “After we made the registration, we have been contacted by multiple F1 teams.

“For the time being,” he added, “we would like to keep a close eye on where Formula 1 is going, and just see how things go.

“For now we don’t have any concrete decisions on whether or not we will be going back to joining F1

“But from the perspective of technological development, we think that being part of F1 is going to help us with technological development. So that is where we are.”

But which teams have likely contacted Honda?


The Woking outfit are the obvious choice, given their previous ties to Honda.

McLaren enjoyed a successful spell with Honda in the 1980s, with the iconic McLaren MP4/4, which won 15 of the 16 races in 1988, leading 1003 of the 1050 laps.

The second time didn’t go to plan with three years of pain for both parties between 2015 and 2017.

McLaren legend Ron Dennis famously justified McLaren’s second partnership with Honda by stating: “Our goal is to win the world championship and that objective would not be within our reach if we continued with a customer engine.”

He’s been proved right so far, so perhaps McLaren need a works deal to have any hope of returning to winning ways on a consistent basis.


Williams have finished last in the constructors’ championship in four of the last five seasons.

While a collaboration with Honda is unlikely to change their fortunes dramatically, as there’s a lot more work that needs to be done at Grove, Williams are one of the few midfield teams that could have contacted them.

Alpine and Alfa Romeo are not options for obvious reasons, while Aston Martin’s association with Mercedes makes complete sense given their road cars.

AlphaTauri will run Red Bull-Ford from 2026, however, should Honda wish to return – not just as an engine manufacturer then Red Bull’s junior team or even Williams could be potential options.

Why are Honda interested in F1?

Honda say they’re interested in F1 because it is “shifting towards electrification’.

“F1 is greatly shifting towards electrification,” he added. “Carbon neutrality is our corporate-wide target at Honda. So, we think that F1’s future direction is in line with our target.

“That is why we have decided to register as a manufacturer of a power unit. We are curious about where F1 is going, being the top racing category, and how is that going to look with more electrification happening?

“We would like to keep a very close eye on that.”

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