Official: Honda to leave F1

02/10/2020
NEWS STORY

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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Published: 02/10/2020
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