THE Formula 1 world is in a spot of turmoil after Honda advised it would not supply more engines after the 2021 season.
The company said it needed to terminate its F1 project to focus corporate resources on research and development in the inexorable automotive advances, among them fuel cell vehicle (FCV) and battery EV (BEV) technologies, which it said “will be the core of carbon-free technologies”.
Red Bull and Honda’s most recent success came at Silverstone this year with Max Verstappen, and Red Bull-Honda lie second in the constructors’ championship.
Honda also scored a surprise second win this year with the former Toro Rosso, now branded as AlphaTauri, when Pierre Gasly won at Monza.
Red Bull team boss Christian Horner said he respected Honda’s decision, but that the team remained committed to the sport and would sound out a replacement partnership.
“As a team we understand how difficult it has been for Honda Motor Company to reach the decision to step back from F1 at the end of the 2021 season,” Horner said.
“We would like to thank them for their exceptional efforts as a power unit supplier and look forward to continued success for the remainder of 2020 and 2021.”
AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost said the team “respect the reason behind Honda’s decision to focus on environmental initiatives and to strive for the realisation of carbon neutrality.
“It won’t be easy to find an engine partner like Honda but, of course, we will start looking at all possibilities to find the best power unit solution from 2022 onwards.”
Meanwhile, McLaren team boss Zak Brown has opened up on why he opted for Ricciardo to join his team in 2021 when the four-time World Champion, Sebastian Vettel, was up for grabs.
In a podcast, Brown was asked why the team went after Ricciardo over Vettel.
“I think Vettel is an obviously outstanding talent, four-time world champion. But I think Daniel is a bigger personality,” he said.
“Actually, if you’re gonna compare the two, one has four world championships. The other has seven Grand Prix wins. I think there’s more runway left in Daniel and he’s a great personality,” the American said.
“And I think he’ll fit really well with Lando [Norris] and within our team. So, with all due respect to Seb, Daniel would be selected before Seb, which is exactly what we did.”
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