Honda’s rebranded US motorsport division will contribute to the development of the new Formula 1 power unit that will be raced by Aston Martin from 2026.

In addition, its staff will be present at circuits with the Silverstone-based team in race support roles.

The organisation previously known as Honda Performance Development has from today been renamed Honda Racing Corporation USA, in a move that was originally announced in September.

The change reflects closer ties with HRC Japan as the US arm steps up its involvement in the company’s global programmes.

Honda says that “with three F1 races now in the US, the new HRC US will be involved in F1 power unit development and race support starting in 2026.”

Any R&D contribution from the US side will have to fall under the auspices of the FIA’s power unit financial regulations that accompany the new spec engines that will be raced from 2026, and which came into force on January 1 this year.

In other words, work undertaken on the F1 project in the USA will have to be fully accounted for within the PU cost cap, and will correspondingly reduce the amount of resource that can be deployed by HRC Japan.

Honda F1 engine at Japanese GP 2023

HPD was created by American Honda Motor Co Inc in 1993, prior to the company’s debut as a works supplier in Indy car the following year.

Since then Honda has earned 15 Indy 500 wins, although six were logged when it was the sole supplier to the series.

Honda has won 13 drivers’ championships and 10 manufacturers’ championships in seasons when it faced competition from other suppliers.

The California-based HPD organisation has also been involved in IMSA, Baja off-road competitions, touring cars and Formula Regional America.

“The team and I here at HRC US are excited and humbled to embark on this next racing adventure,” said HRC US president David Salters.

“Honda’s racing heritage is exceptional. I have just come back from Honda’s annual ‘Thanks Day’ activity at the Twin Ring Motegi circuit:  Moto GP, F1, Indycar, motocross, Dakar endurance, trials, touring car, Super GT all being demonstrated at the highest level by a paddock full of world champions.

“Only Honda does this.  We challenge ourselves and entertain our amazing Honda Racing fans across all pinnacle racing, two and four wheels.

“Add Honda’s cool car and bike culture, cutting edge technology and superb vehicles to this and you can only feel immensely proud to be joining our companies and amazing people together to make one global racing organization, HRC Honda Racing. 

"This really is the power of dreams, moreover we get to race our dreams.”

Speaking in September, HRC Japan president Koji Watanabe stressed the benefits of bringing the two operations closer together.

“Our goal is to increase the HRC brand and sustain the success of our racing activities, and we believe that uniting Honda motorsports globally as one racing organisation will help achieve that,” he said.

“Our race engineers in the US and Japan will be stronger together, and I am so happy to welcome our US associates to the HRC team.”

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