Honda’s F1 boss, Masashi Yamamoto, was not willing to confirm or deny speculation he will stay in Formula 1 next season with Red Bull.
Red Bull and Honda are set to go their separate ways at the end of the 2021 season, with the Japanese engine manufacturer opting to pull out of Formula 1 to focus on other projects.
While Honda are saying goodbye, 2022 will still be somewhat of a transitional year for Red Bull as some of Honda’s personnel will be helping the team with their 2022 unit – a deal was struck between the two parties for Red Bull to use Honda’s intellectual property.
And one of those Honda members, Yamamoto, who was up on the podium with Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez following their 1-3 finish at the United States Grand Prix, could be someone who decides to stick around in the Formula 1 paddock.
Even though he was not willing to comment on speculation, he did reveal that he is weighing up his own options for 2022.
— Honda Racing F1 (@HondaRacingF1) October 25, 2021
“The first thing we focus on anyway is winning the title,” Yamamoto told Formule 1 magazine, as quoted by grandpx.news.
“That has priority. Other than that, we don’t talk about personal moves, although I am considering a few things.
“I personally think it is disappointing that we are withdrawing.
“At the same time, we at Honda Racing understand that Honda as an automaker must commit to becoming carbon neutral.
“That process must be accelerated, hence this decision.
“From Honda’s point of view, the end of this year is the end of the project.
“2022 is a transition period for Red Bull, with people from Honda sticking around to help. The easiest way to explain it is that everyone from the management, like myself and the marketing department will be gone.
“As a brand, Honda will no longer be visibly present.”
Aside from his own future, Yamamoto does think Honda will return to the sport again in the years to come.
“I personally think Honda will return to Formula 1,” he added.
“Right now Honda needs to focus on becoming CO2 neutral and accelerate that project, and if it goes well, I think there are definitely people within the company who want to get back into Formula 1.”