The Japanese manufacturer, owner of the Suzuka Circuit where the race takes place, turned its back on Grand Prix racing as it felt it could not continue amid the business challenges posed by a move towards electrification of racing cars. road.
He then struck a deal with the Red Bull and AlphaTauri teams to continue using Honda engines, although they would be renamed under the new Red Bull Powertrains division.
However, an initial plan for Red Bull to resume engine maintenance and production in Milton Keynes was revised – Honda instead agreeing to continue work from its Japanese facilities.
As part of the agreement, the logo of its motorsport division, Honda Racing Corporation, continues to be worn on Red Bull cars.
With interest in F1 still high and Honda clinching the world championship title last year with Max Verstappen, the company opted to ensure it gets a good place at this year’s Japanese GP.
In a statement on Tuesday, it said: “Honda Motor Co., Ltd. announced today that it has been confirmed as the title sponsor of the Japanese Grand Prix as part of this season’s 2022 FIA Formula 1 World Championship™.
“The Japanese Grand Prix will be held at Suzuka Circuit (Suzuka City, Mie Prefecture), from October 7 to 9, 2022. The official title of this year’s F1 Japanese Grand Prix will be the JAPANESE GRAND PRIX OF FORMULA 1 HONDA 2022.”
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B
Photo by: Erik Junius
Honda’s presence at the Japanese GP is proof that the Japanese manufacturer maintains a key interest in the class, and it has long been suspected that the company could return to F1 in the future.
Speaking earlier this year, Honda’s former Formula 1 chief Masashi Yamamoto felt the company had moved away from Grand Prix racing too soon.
“Personally yes, I agree,” Yamamoto said. “But it’s obviously a business decision and I understand where the business wants to go, so at the end of the day we have to accept it.
“But we still have imagination, so hopefully one day Honda will come back to F1.”
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