After all of that hard work, what has made Honda quit Formula 1?

02-10-2020 09:36
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After all of that hard work, what has made Honda quit Formula 1?

On Friday morning, Honda announced that they will leave Formula 1 at the end of the 2021 season. This leaves Red Bull and AlphaTauri searching for a new engine supplier. After all that hard work to improve the "GP2 engine" at McLaren from 2015, Honda announce their departure just 15 months after their first win since returning to the sport. Progress was being made...

A greener future

In their statement, they say: "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."

And this might come as a real kick in the teeth for Formula 1. Those at the top might be worried that other engine manufacturers, Renault inparticular, will wish to follow the same path. 

In 2022, Formula 1 will undergo a major rule and regulation overhaul. But the engines will remain complex. As is mirrored around the world, Japan are pledging to increse their renewable energy sources as quickly as possible. Earlier this year, Honda revealled the new Honda Jazz and boasted about the lower carbon emissions. Honda want to create this "green image" and perhaps F1 damages that.  

Cost

The current Formula 1 engines are very complex. Honda spent a lot of money developing the current engine, which will have to be ditched in 2022 regardless. They don't want to go through the cost cycle again when developing the 2022 engine because they feel like their funds can be spent in better places. 

The coronavirus hasn't helped financially either. Several companies in the motoring world have had to cut their output and make workers redundant. If Honda continue with the F1 set-up, they may need to cut jobs elsewhere. Again, not the best image when Formula 1 maybe viewed as an unnecessary expenditure. 

Results and Red Bull

Helmut Marko was very keen on making Max Verstappen the youngest World Champion ever. Chances of that happening are now extremely slim. It's clear that expectations, from both parties, were higher than the results on the race track. 

Mercedes are unstoppable. Honda don't have a realistic chance of stepping on the top step of the podium every week. It probably seems like an impossible task. Almost as if there's no point in trying. After being very poor with McLaren, they might now feel as if they've reached their peak performance, and it's still not good enough. What's the point? 

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