Formula 1 motorsport director Ross Brawn says he hopes manufacturers are encouraged to return to the sport by new power unit rules which will arrive “no later than 2026”.

Brawn, who previously served as technical director for Honda’s last Formula 1 team, admitted he was disappointed by their latest decision to leave the sport.

“It is unfortunate Honda are leaving Formula 1 at the end of 2021,” he said. “It’s the fourth time in my racing career they stepped back and come back again.”

However he sees opportunities to encourage them to return in the future.

“I’m optimistic when their situation changes and when F1 evolves, we can engage them again as Honda have always been important and welcome members of the F1 community in the past and hopefully for the future.

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“All automotive companies are facing massive challenges at the moment, and we as F1 need to respond to that and make sure F1 meets those challenges, stays relevant and becomes more relevant to provide automotive partners with viable challenges within F1 which can provide support with their objectives away from F1.”

New power unit rules to replace the current V6 hybrid engines are due to come into force in 2026, but Brawn indicated they may arrive earlier.

“I hope a new power unit formula which will be introduced no later than 2026 will encourage them to come back again,” he said. “We’ll also be encouraging them to be part of new FIA working groups, which will recommend what sort of power unit we will adopt in the future.

“[Honda] have been great partners in F1 and I look forward to working with them in future.”

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