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Honda to quit F1 and focus on Environmental Initiatives

Formula One teams Red Bull and AlphaTauri are currently set to be with no engine supplier by the end of the 2021 season, after Honda announced plans to quit F1 to focus on zero-emission technology.

From 2022, Honda have announced that the budget they would usually put towards F1 will now go towards their plans to manufacture fuel-cell and battery EV vehicles.

Honda’s Chief Executive, Takahiro Hachigo said, "This is not a result of the coronavirus pandemic but because of our longer-term carbon-free goal,"

The decision stems down to an industry shift that has been described as a “once in a one hundred years period of great transformation” as carmakers look to produce new models that have low or zero emissions.

Honda’s decision has left Red Bull, and their sister team, AlphaTauri with no engine supplier for the 2022 season. It also means that Red Bull will be looking for their third new engine supplier within the space of five years, after they switched from Renault to Honda two years ago in what was described as an ‘ugly split’.

Honda and Red Bull have gone above and beyond with their expectations while working together, earning victories in both 2019 and 2020.

On Honda’s decision, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said, "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/"

He added, "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.”

Currently, Red Bull have a choice of three alternative engine suppliers to turn to for 2022, these being: Mercedes, Ferrari or Renault.

However, under current F1 rules, should Red Bull and AlphaTauri fail to agree a new engine supplier by the 2022 season, they would be required to work with Renault as they currently have the fewest number of customer teams on the grid. But, neither Red Bull or Renault are likely to favour a reunion after their split is sure to have left a rocky relationship between the two.

Author: Fred Dobberson