Speaking for himself and not the company, head of Honda Research and Development, Yoshiharu Yamamoto, told Autocar that when it comes to Formula One, "We do look up at those races and hope that one day we can take part again." In order for that one day to occur, a few things would need to happen: the rules would need to change and Honda would need to prove itself capable of winning in the World Touring Car Championship. Neither one is assured.

The new rules Yamamoto is thought to be referring to are the F1 engine regulations coming into force in 2014 – the sport will swap 2.4-liter V8s for 1.6-liter, turbocharged V6s. Honda has developed a 1.6-liter four-cylinder for its new entrant in the WTCC, and it's speculated that a 1.6-liter turbo four will fill the engine bay of the coming Honda Civic Type R. As with a similar on-again off-again flirtation with F1 by Volkswagen, the move to an engine spec closer to that for road cars could be one of the prime tipping points Honda needs.

However, Bernie Ecclestone, Ferrari and even Grand Prix promoters are now fighting the introduction of those V6s because, among other things, the say the engines "sounded terrible." On top of that, Honda's return assumes the company can strut its stuff in touring cars, Yamamoto telling Autocar, "I feel the first thing we must do is win in the WTCC, and then perhaps we can look further afield."

Over the past 48 years Honda has done three stints in Formula 1. In spite of its many successes – McLaren-Honda, anyone? – many look at the Japanese company's last exit in 2008 as an ignominious end to a nine-year stretch that also included the whimpering close of the BAR Honda team and the best days of Jacques Villeneuve's noteworthy F1 career. That's not exactly true, though: Honda got out at the end of 2008 and helped Ross Brawn with a management buyout to form Brawn GP in early 2009, then Jensen Button used the car Honda had just finished developing to dominate the 2009 World Championship. We, for one, would be happy to see them back.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 22 Comments
      RodRAEG
      • 2 Years Ago
      Too bad that doesn't solve their current issue of not having a single interesting car in their lineup. Their best "sporty" car is the Honda Civic Si, for christ's sake! Bring us an S2000 successor!
      Kelly Hatcher
      • 2 Years Ago
      Dear GOD PLEASE
      Mike Gaudiello
      • 2 Years Ago
      Alain Prost approves. I wonder what McLaren thinks of this, what with turbos coming back to F1...
      sloturbo
      • 2 Years Ago
      Honda, please come back. Hopefully being around F1, will help you improve your road car designs, too.
      Mohammed Smith
      • 2 Years Ago
      Will their race cars have CVT transmissions like the Accord and Civic? LOL
        carguy1701
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Mohammed Smith
        Nope. FIA banned CVTs years ago, thankfully. Williams tested an FW15 with one once, and the FIA said 'yeah, don't bring that thing to a race'.
      Karl T
      • 2 Years Ago
      If their lag in the production car market is any indicator, Honda will show-up with 3.0 V10s and active suspension.
      Mercer
      • 2 Years Ago
      They should consider a return to the FWD kings of the road again. Honda fans are built upon Type-Rs, integra, Prelude, S2000, NSX, and Civic Hatch, which are all dead now, remember?
      Hatzenbach
      • 2 Years Ago
      right Honda, go back to F1 to prove how sporty and technically advanced your lineup is, cough, cough. Is there a better way to burn cash?
      protovici
      • 2 Years Ago
      No doubt with a return will help the bruised Honda image.
      carguy1701
      • 2 Years Ago
      As an engine supplier, yeah. Those were their best days.
      carguy1701
      • 2 Years Ago
      If they do return with a works team, I really hope they don't call the car Earth Dreams.
      TheSTIG
      • 2 Years Ago
      Marques that should be in F1 (either as full team or engine supplier): Ferrari, Ford, Benz, Renault, Cosworth, Honda, Lotus, BMW, Porsche (80's mclaren had porsche power labeled as TAG)
        Mason Makita
        • 2 Years Ago
        @TheSTIG
        exactly what IVIaster said. these big boy companies don't look good when NOT winning. BUT i have to admire companies WILLING to compete and put it on the line. props to TOYOTA, HONDA, BMW, FIAT, MercBenzo, FORD, RENAULT who all at least competed in the early-mid 2000s. VW or General Motors never showed up for the battle royale. they toiled around lesser categories. mclaren's ron dennis once said '... second place is FIRST of the losers' ron dennis once said 'second is FIRST of the losers'.
    • Load More Comments