F1 MD, Ross Brawn is optimistic that Honda might one day return to the sport, the Briton hoping that the revised engine formula planned for 2026 will entice the Japanese manufacturer back to the ‘pinnacle of motor sport’.
“It is unfortunate Honda are leaving Formula 1 at the end of 2021,” he admits in his post-Eifel GP debrief for the sport’s official website. “It’s the fourth time in my racing career they stepped back and come back again.
“I’m optimistic when their situation changes and when F1 evolves, we can engage them again,” he continues, “as Honda have always been important and welcome members of the F1 community in the past and hopefully for the future.
“All automotive companies are facing massive challenges at the moment, and we as F1 need to respond to that and make sure F1 meets those challenges, stays relevant and becomes more relevant to provide automotive partners with viable challenges within F1 which can provide support with their objectives away from F1.
“I hope a new power unit formula which will be introduced no later than 2026 will encourage them to come back again. We’ll also be encouraging them to be part of new FIA working groups, which will recommend what sort of power unit we will adopt in the future.
“They have been great partners in F1 and I look forward to working with them in future.”
Of course, Brawn’s call is likely to fall on deaf ears, for environmental and financial issues aside, Honda’s previous unrewarding venture in F1 as a constructor ended with the company selling the team to Brawn and his partners for a song.
Courtesy of the R&D financed by Honda, Brawn and his eponymous outfit went on to win the title at the first attempt, then promptly sold the whole kit and caboodle to Mercedes.