Honda pivots from F1 to Zero Emission Projects

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Japan-based automobile manufacturer Honda Motor Co. will wind up its participation in the Formula One (F1) World Championship at the end of the 2021 season as part of its shift towards zero-emission technology.

The automakers are the current engine supplier to Red Bull Racing and Scuderia AlphaTauri. The CEO of Honda Takahiro Hachigo said in a press meet that the decision was made by the end of September and the company won’t return to F1.

In 2008 they had stepped out of the world’s most-prestigious single-seater auto racing series, due to the global financial crisis, but returned competition by partnering with Red Bull in 2015 to win by accelerating zero-emission technologies.

Takahiro Hachigo
Takahiro Hachigo
CEO – Honda Motor Co.

“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. 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 and battery EV technologies.”

The automakers were hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic that forced it to close showrooms and production sites. The company faced a financial loss in the first and second quarters of this year and expected full-year earnings that trailed analysts’ estimates.

Honda has been associated with F1 for more than half a century and has competed as an entrant, constructor and engine supplier to bag multiple championships in the most anticipated motor-sport competition around the globe.

The team principal of Red Bull Christian Horner welcomed this decision by stating, “We understand how difficult it has been for Honda Motor Company to reach the decision. We understand and respect the reasoning behind this.”

The Japanese automakers will be launching ‘Honda e’, their first mass-produced battery car, this month and has planned to make two-third of their vehicles to be new-energy based by 2030.