Honda’s shock announcement that decision it will no longer supply engines for Formula 1 makes sense in the context of its Indy plans.
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”.
It comes as no surprise then that Honda has declared support for IndyCar’s announcement of a new hybrid formula, to take effect with the start of the 2023 NTT IndyCar season.
Honda Performance Development (HPD) is preparing a 2.4-litre, twin-turbocharged V6 hybrid power unit capable of producing more than 670kW as IndyCar moves towards what it describes as an exciting new generation of North American motorsport.
“Honda welcomes this step to the future by IndyCar, action that mirrors Honda’s efforts to develop and manufacture high performance, electrified products that will meet industry challenges and delight our customers,” president of Honda Performance Development, Ted Klaus, said.
“At Honda, we race to develop our people, to innovate technologies and to engage fans. We are proud of our uninterrupted, 27-year leadership in IndyCar, and look forward to delivering a next-generation Honda 2.4-litre hybrid power unit with more than 900 horsepower.”
The hybrid formula is part of a multi-year extension IndyCar has reached with Honda and Chevrolet, which promises a continuation of manufacturer competition in North America’s pinnacle open-wheel racing series well into the next decade.
The commitment also provides opportunities for additional manufacturers to join the series, which Honda strongly supports.
The IndyCar announcement aligns Honda’s North American racing programs with the company’s product development activities.
Globally, Honda expects two-thirds of its new vehicles sales to be electrified by 2030.
“American Honda and HPD are proud of our continuous, mutually beneficial relationship with IndyCar in North America,” executive vice president of National Operations for American Honda Motor Co., Inc, Dave Gardner, said.
“Motorsports and competition help define who we are as a company. IndyCar’s transition to an electrified formula aligns with our business direction in this region. We look forward to the thrilling new era ahead in North American motorsport.”
American Honda and Honda Performance Development (HPD) have been leaders in Indy car racing since the formation of HPD in 1993.
Honda and HPD entered Indy car competition in 1994, winning its first manufacturers’ and drivers’ championships in 1996.
No other manufacturer has matched Honda’s success in Indy car, which includes 252 victories from 457 races, 16 drivers’ titles, eight manufacturers’ championships and 13 Indianapolis 500 victories.
In 2020, Takuma Sato recorded Honda’s 13th Indianapolis 500 victory; Scott Dixon has posted four race wins and is the current NTT IndyCar Series points leader; and Honda leads the Manufacturers’ Championship with seven wins from 11 races this season.
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