Development & resources: Why Honda preferred F1 over Formula E
Although Honda is increasingly focusing on electric mobility in its road cars, the company will return to Formula 1 as Aston Martin's engine partner in 2026. Honda's motorsport boss justifies the decision against Formula E, which at first glance would have seemed the more logical option, with greater technological freedom in F1.
In an interview with the Japanese edition of 'Motorsport.com', Yasuharu Watanabe explains that with regard to Formula E, he is "not thinking about it in more detail": "One of our goals in motorsport is to promote people and skills. From this perspective, Formula 1 is a more accessible field. I don't want to deny Formula E anything, but I think the challenges for people and technologies are greater in F1."
A dual programme in both series would be "nice, however we don't have the resources for that", said Honda's motorsport president. He also enjoys the greater freedom of development in F1, where Honda can push ahead with the development of the hybrid system - including the batteries used there - in addition to the combustion engine.
In Formula E, on the other hand, battery development is taboo for manufacturers. Could FE opening up the development of batteries change his mind? "Yes. But at the moment it is Formula 1 that has a higher degree of freedom in terms of development."