Honda rejoined in 2015 during V6 Hybrid F1 era
Automaker has 11 total F1 championships
After making its return to the sport five years ago, Honda has announced that it will be leaving Formula One after the 2021 season. The company cites a move toward carbon neutrality and the need to focus resources on future propulsion tech going forward.
Honda has been in F1 on and off since way back in 1964, just four years after their first road car. Over the years, Honda engines have been entered in 453 races and have won 6 constructors’ championships and five drivers’ titles. Most recently, they’ve been the supplier to the Red Bull and AlphaTauri teams, and this season have won two races, one with each team.
In the announcement, Honda admits that there were some growing pains upon the return (they call them “a number of difficulties” but since then the company has hit its stride, performing impressively against the dominant Mercedes team.
Honda says that the industry is in “a once-in-one-hundred-years period of great transformation,” and so they are leaving F1 as part of their plan to be carbon neutral by 2050. That means resources are moving to “future power unit and energy technologies,” namely fuel cells and battery-electric vehicles. Honda said that it has started a new Innovative Research Excellence, Power Unit & Energy tech centre that will use F1 and motorsports knowledge to move toward carbon neutrality.
Honda said that motorsports are part of the company DNA and they will “continue to be passionate about taking on challenges and striving to become No. 1 in all categories of racing in which Honda participates.”
Red Bull Racing boss Christian Horner said that the team “remains committed to the sport in the long term” and said that it would evaluate and find “the most competitive power unit solution for 2022 and beyond.”