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Eifel GP: Preview - Honda

NEWS STORY
07/10/2020

This will be our first race weekend since the news broke last Friday that Honda is pulling out of Formula 1 at the end of 2021.

"End of 2021" is the key phrase there, because for now, it's absolutely business as usual for the rest of this season and all of 2021. That's over 20 more opportunities to aim for the top step of the podium with our two teams. And we plan to make the most of it!

The 2020 calendar has definitely thrown up some interesting venues, some we have never raced on before like Mugello and Portimao and others that fall into the category of "old favourites" such as Imola and this weekend's venue, the Nurburgring. One of the most historic track names in the sport, this Nurburgring, officially called the GP Strecke, lives in the shadow of the famous Nordschleife, or "Green Hell" as it was known. Formula 1 has never raced here in the current hybrid era, the last F1 race having taken place in 2013 and maybe it's a good omen for this weekend that the winning team that day was Red Bull Racing. The Nurburgring has held events counting towards the F1 world championship that were not the German GP, with the 1984 race entitled European GP, a name that would be used a few more times to squeeze a second German race onto the calendar and it even hosted a Luxembourg GP in 1997 and '98.

Formula 1 has only visited the 'Ring in October twice before this weekend and naturally all the talk is about the weather in this mountainous region. For the moment, we can rule out snow, but a bitterly cold and possibly wet weekend looks on the cards.

Toyoharu Tanabe, Technical Director: "Last Friday, Honda announced that we would be ending our Formula 1 programme at the end of the 2021 season. Everyone involved in Honda's F1 project is very sad that our time in the sport is coming to an end. We have enjoyed excellent partnerships with Aston Martin Red Bull Racing and Scuderia AlphaTauri and I am proud of what we have achieved with both teams so far in terms of wins and podium finishes. For the moment, our work continues exactly as before and we will be doing our utmost to secure more wins and good results with both teams.

"We have also assured the FIA and Formula 1 of our intention to fully meet our responsibilities, not just towards our two teams but also to the sport in general, all the way through to the end of the 2021 season.

"As for this weekend, the Nurburgring has a long and interesting Grand Prix history. At an altitude of around 600 metres in the Eifel mountains, we can expect bad weather and very low ambient and track temperatures. The forecast certainly indicates that this will be the coldest race of the year so far. Formula 1 has not raced at the 'Ring since 2013, therefore this will be the first time for the hybrid power units. We have prepared thoroughly in terms of simulation work, however, it will be important to make the most of our time in Friday free practice to generate real data to help us set up the PUs as well as possible for the rest of the weekend."

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