It's time to say goodbye to Honda in Formula 1.
The Japanese automaker announced that they’ll be pulling out of the sport at the end of 2021. The surprise move comes following a press conference held in Tokyo on Friday morning. With that, Honda will be exiting the sport (again) after just six years.
The manufacturer returned to Formula 1 in 2015 with McLaren and the results of that partnership were less than stellar. With frustrations mounting on both camps, both parted ways at the end of the 2017 season. Honda was then chosen by the Red Bull and Alpha Tauri (formerly Toro Roso) teams in the hope of challenging for podiums and even wins. The shift turned out to be a good move on Honda’s part as they’ve secured numerous podiums including six wins to date.
The shock announcement was delivered by Honda’s F1 managing director Masahi Yamamoto. Yamamoto says that cost is one of the bigger reasons why they decided to pull out of the sport. In an official statement, Honda, as a company, said that it would be better to funnel their resources into the research and development of power units such as Fuel Cell Vehicle (FCV) and Battery EV (BEV) technologies which they say will be the core of their push for carbon-free technologies.
“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,” said Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner.
It’ll now be interesting to see how Red Bull and Alpha Tauri will proceed past the 2021 season. Both teams have just signed the new Concord agreement that ensures both teams participate in the sport until the end of 2025. With no engine supplier going into 2022, it seems Redbull and Alpha Tauri will have to ask Renault, Ferrari, or Mercedes for an engine.