Honda on Thursday announced that it will withdraw from Formula One at the end of the 2021 season citing environmental initiatives as it’s ultimate objective.
“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,” the Japanese manufacturers said in a statement.
“Toward this end, 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,” it added.
Honda has been Red Bull and Alpha Tauri’s power unit supplier since two seasons. The engine manufacturers’ two season F1 stint includes 15 podium finishes and five wins for both the teams. Honda is the only engine maker to win with two different teams in the V6 turbo hybrid era, during Mercedes’ domination.
While the company said that it has attained its goals of earning victories last season and two sons in 2020, Christian Horner, Principal of the Red Bull Racing said he is disappointed.
Honda joined the Red Bull team in 2019, when their partnership with French manufacturers Renault didn’t work out. Their exit from Formula One means the second ranked constructors will have to return to Renault, or deal with Ferrari’s recent power problems. Mercedes, who are Red Bulls’ direct competition already Manufacture engines for Williams and Racing Point.
“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,” said Christian Horner.
Honda’s exit puts Red Bull in jeopardy, especially when Max Verstappen’s form is doing all the talking for him and other teams might pounce on the first opportunity to hire the Dutch racer.