Honda could be set to announce a return to F1 in the near future according to reports in the Japanese media.

The manufacturer quit the sport at the end of the 2008 season having elected to sell its team due to the economic downturn, with Ross Brawn purchasing the Brackley-based squad - which then went on to win the title the following year before being taken over by Mercedes.

Speculation for some time has suggested that Honda is now seeking to return to F1 as an engine supplier, with new regulations coming into force from 2014 onwards.

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McLaren has been mooted as the most likely option for some time, with Martin Whitmarsh refusing to comment at the weekend on speculation that the team hasn't taken up its option to remain with Mercedes beyond the 2014 campaign.

According to business newspaper Nikkei, Honda is set to return to F1 for the 2015 campaign as a supplier to McLaren, who would therefore run the new Mercedes turbo engine for just a single season.

The 'paper reports that the announcement is likely to be made 'sometime soon'.

Further reports elsewhere meanwhile suggest that Honda president Takanobu Ito could reveal a new partnership as early as this week.

"Honda has not officially denied these reports," a company source was quoted as saying. "Please prepare yourself for the announcement."