Honda not ready to commit to 2021 - Marko

Honda is not yet committed to Formula 1 beyond 2020.

That is the claim of Dr Helmut Marko, a top official at Red Bull.

Still deciding

He admits that Honda still has work to do to catch Ferrari and Mercedes, even though ExxonMobil introduced an innovative new fuel for the Japanese carmaker's 'spec 4' engine at Suzuka.

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"In qualifying, we are still clearly behind, especially Ferrari. We lost eight tenths to them on the straights. But in the race we are about equal to Mercedes," he told Auto Motor und Sport.

As for Honda's future beyond 2020, Marko admits that is clouded at present.

"They are waiting until the new regulations are on the table. Then they will analyse everything and decide," he said.

Marko admitted that reducing costs for the engine manufacturers will be a "very important" aspect of that analysis.

"If it does not get cheaper, there will be hardly anyone left," he said.

But he thinks it would be premature to 'freeze' engine development at the moment.

"Freezing only works when everybody is at the same level. At the moment, Ferrari drives away from everyone in qualifying, including Mercedes," said Marko.