Ross Brawn says Formula 1 will encourage Honda to lend its voice to the sport's efforts to define Grand Prix racing's future power unit.
The announcement last week of Honda's exit from F1 at the end of next season has been interpreted by many as an indictment of the complexity and cost of the sport's current hybrid engine, raising questions on F1's approach to its engine rules.
Brawn, who worked alongside Honda during his tenure at the helm of the Japanese manufacturer's F1 team, said he was sorry to see the company leave the pinnacle of motorsport but hopes it will return at some point in the future.
"It is unfortunate Honda are leaving Formula 1 at the end of 2021," Brawn said in his Eifel GP debrief. "It’s the fourth time in my racing career they stepped back and come back again.
"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."
Current engines regulations centered around the 1.6 litre V6 turbo hybrid power unit are set to remain in force until the end of the 2025 season.
A new engine platform will therefore be required from 2026. Brawn hopes Honda will accept to be part of the thought process that will spawn the F1 engine of the future, and perhaps even be tempted to return to F1.
"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," said Brawn
"I hope a new power unit formula which will be introduced no later than 2026 will encourage them to come back again.
"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.
"They have been great partners in F1 and I look forward to working with them in future."