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Official: Honda to leave F1

NEWS STORY
02/10/2020

In a shock move, Honda, citing environmental initiatives, has announced that it has decided to conclude its participation in Formula One at the end of the 2021 season.

Honda returned to F1 in 2015, with McLaren, with the goal to win using its own energy management technologies. Initially, the Japanese manufacturer experienced a "number of difficulties", according to day's official statement, "however, by demonstrating the collective strength of "All Honda," including the utilization of its aircraft engine technologies, the Japanese manufacturer has realized a high level of competitiveness".

As a result of the growth Honda achieved together with Red Bull and AlphaTauri under a strong partnership with both teams, it was able to attain its goal of earning victories with three wins last season and two wins so far in 2020.

In the meantime, as the automobile industry undergoes a once-in-one-hundred-years period of great transformation, Honda has decided to strive for the "realization of carbon neutrality by 2050". This goal will be pursued as part of Honda's environmental initiatives which is one of the top priorities of Honda as a mobility manufacturer.

Consequently, Honda needs to funnel its corporate resources in research and development into the areas of future power unit and energy technologies, including fuel cell vehicle (FCV) and battery EV (BEV) technologies, which will be the core of carbon-free technologies. As a part of this move, in April of this year, Honda created a new center called Innovative Research Excellence, Power Unit & Energy.

Honda will allocate its energy management and fuel technologies as well as knowledge amassed through F1 activities to this area of power unit and energy technologies and take initiatives while focusing on the future realization of carbon neutrality.

Toward this end, Honda made the decision to conclude its participation in F1.

Motorsports activities are in Honda's DNA, and therefore Honda will continue to be passionate about taking on challenges and striving to become No. 1 in all categories of racing in which Honda participates.

In F1, in order to fulfil the expectations of its fans, Honda will work together with Red Bull and AlphaTauri to continue competing with its utmost effort and strive for more victories all the way to the end of the 2021 season.

"As a Team we understand how difficult it has been for Honda to reach the decision to step back from Formula One at the end of the 2021 season," said Christian Horner. "The shifting focus within the automotive industry has led to Honda's decision to re-deploy their resources and we understand and respect the reasoning behind this. Their decision presents obvious challenges for us as a Team but we have been here before and with our strength in depth we are well prepared and equipped to respond effectively, as we have proven in the past.

"Whilst we are disappointed not to continue our partnership with Honda, we are enormously proud of our joint success, delivering five wins and 15 podiums for both Red Bull owned teams and we thank everyone at Honda for their extraordinary efforts and commitment.

"Our joint focus for the remainder of the 2020 and 2021 seasons are unchanged, to fight for victories and challenge for the championship. As a signatory to Formula One's latest Concorde Agreement, Red Bull Racing remains committed to the sport in the long term and we look forward to embarking on a new era of innovation, development and success. As a group, we will now take the time afforded to us to further evaluate and find the most competitive power unit solution for 2022 and beyond."

"Scuderia AlphaTauri and Honda have built up a very good and professional relationship since we started to cooperate in 2018", added Franz Tost. "We enjoyed great success together in the last few years, winning a race and finishing on the podium twice, with one second and one third place. It's unfortunate that Honda has decided to stop their commitment in Formula One, because their Power Unit's performance has been improving constantly and dramatically to become one of the best engines on the grid in a short period of time, since they returned to the sport. I'm convinced that together we will continue to achieve strong results in the remaining races this season and next year."

"We certainly respect the reason behind Honda's decision to focus on environmental initiatives and to strive for the realization of carbon neutrality, everybody at Scuderia AlphaTauri wish them well in reaching all their goals and to have a successful future ahead. We sincerely want to thank Honda for the fruitful cooperation, we really enjoyed every day we've been working together. It won't be easy to find an engine partner like Honda but, of course, we will start looking at all possibilities to find the best Power Unit solution from 2022 onwards."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Stitch431, 05/10/2020 8:10

"I believe the real reason for Honda to leave is that in F1 we are stuck with a very complex engine system, and with the engine rules now frozen until 2025, it would cost them Millions per year, without the canche to improve the engine, which gives the advantage to Mercedes. Therefore it is, at least for me, no surprise that Honda wants to leave. Thank you FIA and Liberty, you forgot to change the engine rules which have lead to this Mercedes hegemony already for so long. "

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by The stogie, 04/10/2020 18:38

"I predict that Red Bull will team up with another manufacturer and buy the Honda engine facility. This would allow that manufacturer to join a winning team and get their name in front of a huge audience. "

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3. Posted by Bill Hopgood, 03/10/2020 19:41

"CO2 Neutral by 2050?
I can't see that happening in society let alone transport, not unless we all pack up and move into caves and freeze or starve to death due to not being allowed to use a fire to keep warm, cook food.
Without fossil fuels and petrochemicals humans are, in a word, stuffed.
Unless there is a significant replacement for fossil fuels we'd have to forego many of the things we need for modern life today and things we enjoy too, including mobile phones.
I guess we could go back to squeezing oil out of whales but I don't see that as being sustainable unless we had a massive breeding / intensive whale farming industry in the planning.
I'm with a lot of other Pitpass commenters in that this is most likely a financial decision, particularly as the very product that most of the manufacturers are being forced to make creates a lot of CO2.
https://www.visualcapitalist.com/how-much-oil-electric-vehicle/
The only way I can see a lot less CO2 being produced if there was something that stopped factories, consumerism, travel, hospitality etc."

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4. Posted by Oldgit, 02/10/2020 22:20

"Honda leaving to go green ? I seriously doubt it as there is no mention of them leaving motorsports such as Indycar or Motogp, World Superbike etc ...

It is all about them bleeding money during the current pandemic/downturn.
"

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5. Posted by C5, 02/10/2020 17:17

"Red Bull, and F1, are not the only ones that should pay attention. This is the way the manufacturers, and increasingly people, are going. ACO and IMSA better get busy (or more likely, busier) getting an all-electric endurance series going. Now THAT would be an interesting engineering spectacle.

As for F1, I think the series can continue for a long time with combustion engines and private teams. And that would itself be pretty interesting. But the future for car makers is electric, potentially with hydrogen or synth fuel range extenders."

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6. Posted by alvarezh3, 02/10/2020 15:30

"Meanwhile.... these words out of Zuffenhousen:

Herbert Diess Porche's CEO on his Linkedin page, "In my opinion, we should continue racing. Sport is becoming climate-neutral through the use of synthetic fuels (My note - for ICEs). It is a lot more exciting, fun and interesting than Formula E.""

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7. Posted by Rock Doc, 02/10/2020 12:20

"Not much choices for Red Bull now. The Honda experiment has demonstrated how difficult it is for someone to build one of these engines from scratch. Red Bull only have 3 choices and none of them look like they will happen.

You have to wonder where Mercedes mind is at this point. And also Renault. A signature on a piece of paper in F1 really doesn't count for much. Never has."

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8. Posted by nnails, 02/10/2020 12:10

"Hardly surprisingly. Economic chaos caused by covid , cost fortune to develop engine , no views at race tracks, less views had home because of paywall.

Who's next to leave?"

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9. Posted by Jet Jockey, 02/10/2020 12:07

"Good luck finding a new PU Mr. Horner after all the bridges you burnt! :-)"

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10. Posted by Batman, 02/10/2020 11:37

"F1 its all about business. Renault will be keen to see his PU returning to victories. How much a PU from Renault will cost to Red Bull?"

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11. Posted by rosscogeo, 02/10/2020 11:04

"How about VW entering F1 through the Bentley brand then we could have Aston Martin versus Bentley in F1, imagine Stefano smile at that prospect. "

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12. Posted by ian_w, 02/10/2020 10:52

"Shame Honda could not give it another 5 years and leave on a winning note. Been plenty of talk about VW/Audi coming in, but I think the real enticer would be an already legendary historic F1 brand, conveniently owned by VW and maker of some of the most ridiculously engineered street cars and powerplants; Bugatti!
https://www.yankodesign.com/2020/05/24/bugattis-most-realistic-formula-1-race-car-was-designed-by-a-talented-intern/
"

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13. Posted by Greg, 02/10/2020 10:33

"I forgot Ferrari. :-("

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14. Posted by Greg, 02/10/2020 10:26

"All cars bar RENAULT supplied will run Mercedes engines. Next RENAULT leave and then we have a sole engine supply. Same as before mainly with Cosworth was years back. "

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15. Posted by Chris Roper, 02/10/2020 9:04

"Is that an indication that it will be pulling out of Indy Car too?
It would look a bit hypocritical to supply Indy and not F1 on the grounds of Carbon Neutrality.

What are BMW or Audi up to these days?
Could they be tempted by the new rules..........
"

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