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Honda admits to its fossil fuel dilemma

NEWS STORY
25/02/2020

F1 is really in a quandary, for the fact is that unless the engine formula, indeed the entire philosophy of the sport is radically overhauled in the coming years, as it stands, it is entirely possible that fossil fuel powered cars could be racing in countries where the road going equivalent is outlawed.

More and more countries are passing legislation that will see fossil fuel vehicles banned, and while most range between 2030 and 2040, individual cities such as Paris, Rome and Mexico City are introducing their own bans as early as 2024/2025.

The growing demand to phase out fossil fuel vehicles is causing a seismic change in the automobile industry, and understandably this is in turn affecting motor sport.

Though Honda has committed to one more season in F1 - currently the only manufacturer to do so - the Japanese company admits that it is under intense pressure to push further into electric vehicles which will drive up its spending whilst also compromising its fossil fuel F1 programme.

"We are speaking to Red Bull about the continuation after 2021," the company's F1 managing director, Masashi Yamamoto tells Motorsport.com. "But the other thing we have to consider is the whole car industry is facing a very difficult situation because of electrification. Many companies have to invest a lot, so we have to kind of think about the business side and how efficient we can run the program. That's the point."

Asked if the move towards electric makes Formula E a more attractive proposition for Honda, Yamamoto admitted: "Obviously we are interested and we are continuing and collecting the information.

"But at the moment we just focus on F1 and we don't have any plan to participate in Formula E. We have to focus on F1."

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1. Posted by 4-Wheel Drifter, 08/03/2020 22:42

"I'm a long time lover of fossil fueled cars (I was born in 1940 and got my first "hot rod" in '56 with a Lincoln Zephyr Transmission and a completely re-built Ford V8 (46 Ford Sedan with dual exhausts the rear end lifted... oh I loved it. Went to midget races with ostly Kurtis Kraft chassis and V-860 Ford engines (the track only a quarter mile so the Fords could compete with Offys and beat them) Went to Indy. Read about F1 in Road & Track magazine, never saw an F1 race till they came to Indy and got to see Seb Vettel's initial race. And still love the sound of the big V-16s. But. Fossil Fuels are destroying the planet. If we don't change soon, not only will F1 be history, so will our species. So lyou chaps can raise all the objectoions you like but you're on the Titanic and she's going down."

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2. Posted by elsiebc, 25/02/2020 16:44

"Actually, having a racing series that shows off the visceral power of lightly regulated internal combustion engines using an energy dense fuel medium is exactly what an electrified world will crave. Give Liberty my number when they are facing bankruptcy."

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3. Posted by Pawsche, 24/02/2020 18:25

"<i>individual cities such as Paris, Rome and Mexico City are introducing their own bans as early as 2024/2025</i>

Are they insane? Where's the infrastructure to support an electric-only vehicle policy? Looks like yet more scientifically/engineering-illiterate virtue-signalling by politicians. If they carry on like this world-wide economies will decline dramatically (it's difficult to have a productive workforce if they can't get to work!) and F1 will be the least of everyone's problems."

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