In a shock announcement on Friday morning, Honda Motor Co. Ltd. declared that they will be withdrawing from Formula 1 after 2021.
The global manufacturer re-joined F1 in 2019 to supply power units for both Aston Martin Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso, and continued its supply for 2020 (with Toro Rosso competing as Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda).
But, as of the regulations change in 2022, they will not remain a part of the pinnacle of motorsport.
A statement released by Honda on October 2nd, 2020 divulged that the company has decided to strive for the ‘realization of carbon neutrality by 2050’ and will therefore be ‘funnelling its corporate resources in research and development into the areas of future power unit and energy technologies.‘
Because of this, Honda has made the decision to ‘conclude its participation in F1′.
Honda experienced much success in their recent stint in Formula 1, attaining three grand prix victories in their first year of partnership with Red Bull – the manufacturer’s first wins in F1 since 2006.
They went on to power Max Verstappen to victory once more at the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix in 2020, and their announcement to remain until the end of 2021 warrants their ability to perhaps take another win in the near future for a royal send-off.
Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner said that whilst the team are ‘disappointed’ not to continue their partnership with Honda, they are ‘enormously proud’ of their ‘joint success’.
“As a Team we understand how difficult it has been for Honda Motor Company to reach the decision to step back from Formula 1 at the end of the 2021 season. 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.“
“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.“
He went on to say that the team and manufacturer’s ‘joint focus for the remainder of the 2020 and 2021 seasons are unchanged’.
Red Bull are yet to comment on their possible choices for future engine suppliers.