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Honda Exits F1 With Carbon-Neutral Goal

H
onda has announced it will exit Formula One (F1) at the end of 2021, citing a ‘once-in-one-hundred-year period of transformation for the automobile industry’ as Honda targets ‘carbon neutrality by 2050’.

The Japanese manufacturer held partnerships with both Red Bull Racing and Scuderia AlphaTauri in the F1 competition, leaving both searching for new manufacturer partners for 2022 and beyond.

In a statement, Honda said it needs to funnel 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’.

“As a part of this move, in April of this year, Honda created a new center called Innovative Research Excellence, Power Unit & Energy,” Honda said in a statement.

“Honda will allocate its energy management and fuel technologies as well as knowledge amassed through F1 activities to this area of power unit and energy technologies and take initiatives while focusing on the future realization of carbon neutrality.

“Toward this end, Honda made the decision to conclude its participation in F1.

“Motorsports activities are in Honda’s DNA, and therefore Honda will continue to be passionate about taking on challenges and striving to become No. 1 in all categories of racing in which Honda participates.

“In F1, in order to fulfill the expectations of its fans, Honda will work together with Red Bull Racing and Scuderia AlphaTauri to continue competing with its utmost effort and strive for more victories all the way to the end of the 2021 season.

“With its ‘challenging spirit’ cultivated through motorsports activities, Honda will take on the new challenge of the future realization of carbon neutrality,” Honda said.

Red Bull Racing team principal, Christian Horner, said the move creates challenges for the Red Bull team, but the decision was understandable with the shift in the automobile industry.

“As a team we understand how difficult it has been for Honda Motor Company to reach the decision to step back from Formula One at the end of the 2021 season,” Horner said.

“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.

“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.

“As a signatory to Formula One’s latest Concorde Agreement, Red Bull Racing remains committed to the sport in the long term and we look forward to embarking on a new era of innovation, development and success.

“As a group, we will now take the time afforded to us to further evaluate and find the most competitive power unit solution for 2022 and beyond,” he said.