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F1 – Red Bull-Honda meeting in Japan: possible return in 2026?

A very busy week has begun for the Red Bull team. In addition to awaiting the final verdict of the FIA on last season’s budget cap and the high possibility that Max Verstappen win his second F1 title this weekend, this Tuesday, in Tokyo, the Austrians held a meeting that could have important repercussions in the future.

The meeting was made up of representatives from Red Bull Racing, senior management from Honda Motorsport and members of the Japanese manufacturer’s board of directors.

Mutually familiar faces, and obviously without any official communication. Despite not having confirmed anything, everything indicates that one of the various issues that were put on the table was related to Honda’s plans in the medium and long term in Formula 1.

Following the failure of negotiations with Porsche for 2026, Red Bull has made it clear that it will be able to build its new power unit independently, thanks to the engine department (Red Bull Powertrais) that was created last year and entered into operation last summer. Although that is one of the possible solutions for Milton Kynes, technically and financially it is perhaps too great a commitment for Red Bull.

The possibility of pursuing a partnership with another manufacturer has never been ruled out, and the relationship with Honda, which remains very close despite his goodbye at the end of 2021, places the Japanese manufacturer as the great favorite to join the energy drinks.

Honda made the decision to leave F1 after receiving the impact of the financial crisis caused by COVID-19 and that affected the entire automotive sector, in addition to the company’s decision to direct all its production towards electric motors. Later, however, came the conquest of Max Verstappen at the end of 2021, and with him some rethinking in Tokyo.

There are those who maintain that it is unlikely that Honda will return to the category, and those who, on the other hand, are convinced that they could be interested in a less demanding association than the one they had before. Since with Red Bull Powertrains, the tasks could now be divided , something that was already planned to be done with Porsche.

In Milton Keynes they could take over the thermal engine (which will use a 100% sustainable fuel), leaving Honda the task of designing and building the electrical part of the power unit, in line with the philosophy of the Japanese group today.

However, the electrical part is also the biggest challenge of the new generation of engines for 2026, taking into account the increase in power from the current 120 to 350 kilowatts , which would put Honda back in the spotlight.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B  con la decoración en homenaje a Honda

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