Honda will return to Formula 1 in 2026 as an engine partner for Aston Martin.
The two Red Bull teams employed Honda engines in 2023 after the firm officially left F1.
Honda claimed on Wednesday that F1’s 2030 carbon-neutrality goal was the “key factor” in its re-entry. The 2026 year’s rules will boost the F1 engine’s electrical performance. The FIA requires sustainable synthetic fuels.
“In pursuit of its goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2030, starting in the 2026 season the FIA will mandate the use of 100% carbon-neutral fuel and the deployment of electrical power will be increased significantly by three times from the current regulations,” said Honda Racing Corporation president Koji Watanabe.
With this significant increase in electrical power, victory in F1 will require a compact, lightweight, high-power motor with a high-performance battery that can quickly handle high-power output and energy-management technologies.
Since 2014, F1 has employed hybrid engines, but the new rules will alter their layout.
The MGU-H, which recovers energy from the turbo, is removed, and the engine’s power output is significantly increased by hybrid power. “Electricity accounts for 20% or less compared to the internal combustion engine,” Watanabe remarked.
“But the new regulations require about 50% or more of electrification, which moves even further towards electrification and I believe the technology will be useful for us in producing vehicles in the future.”
He stated carbon-neutral fuels and engine integration “match Honda’s direction”. Watanabe said the cost cap’s extension to engines made “long-term and continuous participation in F1 easier”.