Honda has decided to withdraw from Formula One at the end of the 2021 season, the Japanese engine manufacturer announced on Friday, citing “environmental initiatives.” Honda, which resumed competition in F1 in 2015, is the power unit supplier to Red Bull and AlphaTauri.
The company said it had attained its goals of earning victories last season and two wins in 2020.
“In the meantime, as the automobile industry undergoes a once-in-one-hundred-years period of great transformation, Honda has decided to strive for the ‘realization of carbon neutrality by 2050,’” Honda said in an official statement. “This goal will be pursued as part of Honda’s environmental initiatives which is one of the top priorities of Honda as a mobility manufacturer.
“Toward this end, 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,” it said.
The founder of electric Formula E series, Alejandro Agag, also came forward to express his disappointment. The Spaniard said, “I see it as bad news for motorsport in general. I don’t see this as good news for Formula E and bad news for Formula One.” He is also launching an Extreme E off-road series next year.
“We in Formula E also need Formula One to be successful because we don’t see each other as competitors. We see each other as on the same boat and competing against tennis, football and other sports.
“If one manufacturer leaves motorsport, it doesn’t mean it’s going to come through another door to us. It may stay out of motorsport altogether so that’s not good news,” he told Reuters.