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Honda to bid Formula 1 adieu at the end of 2021

Automaker says it will focus on zero-emission tech with knowledge gained from motorsports

Red Bull may have to reluctantly partner with Renault once again. PHOTO FROM RED BULL

Honda’s return to Formula 1 in 2015 was less than stellar. Its partnership with McLaren was a disastrous one with the team’s cars finding themselves significantly outpaced even by the midfield drivers. The Japanese automaker appeared to return to form in its tie-ups with Toro Rosso (now AlphaTauri) in 2018 and Red Bull in 2019. But as soon as the engine supplier finally started its winning ways, it is once again bidding the sport goodbye at the end of 2021.

Pierre Gasly and his AlphaTauri team scored their first wins with Honda power. PHOTOS FROM ALPHATAURI

According to Honda, its departure from the sport was caused by the automotive industry undergoing a “once-in-one-hundred-years period of great transformation.” We suspect that the financial losses resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak has greatly influenced the automaker’s decision to call it quits with Formula 1. The company says that it will redirect its efforts and funding into the development of carbon-free technologies, bringing with it the learnings from its rather short stint in F1.

Max Verstappen will have to pray that Red Bull's 2022 engine will be just as potent. PHOTO FROM RED BULL

Honda has five wins under its belt with the two teams it supplies power units to. This includes the maiden victory of Frenchman Pierre Gasly and his AlphaTauri squad in this year’s Italian Grand Prix. Only three power unit suppliers remain in Formula 1. If both Red Bull-owned teams are unable to convince Mercedes or Ferrari to provide them with engines, Renault will be obligated to supply the power units.

Miggi Solidum

Professionally speaking, Miggi is a software engineering dude who happens to like cars a lot. And as an automotive enthusiast, he wants a platform from which he can share his motoring thoughts with fellow petrolheads. He pens the column ‘G-Force’.