Japanese engine manufacturer Honda only recently announced that 2021 would be their last year in Formula 1. Speculation was rife whether Honda as an entirety would quit motorsports altogether. However, this latest news confirms that that will not be the case. Shortly after the announcement, Honda inked a new agreement with IndyCar Series as their engine partners alongside Chevrolet.
There is a possibility that the coronavirus pandemic, and a focus shift to carbon neutrality, has seen Honda take the decision to pull out of F1.
Honda – IndyCar partnership is one for the longer term
Perhaps the objectives of IndyCar are more affordable and in line with what Honda want to pursue. Motorsport racing, in general, can definitely have a bearing on the costs and bottom-line growth of business firms.
In an official statement on the IndyCar website, the Performance Development’s president Ted Klaus said, “Honda welcomes this step to the future by INDYCAR. An action that mirrors Honda’s efforts to develop and manufacture high-performance, electrified products that will meet industry challenges, and delight our customers.
“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-liter hybrid power unit with more than 900 horsepower.”
Red Bull group left searching for new engine supplier
It is not the first time Honda has exited Formula 1. A continued on-off relationship with the sport, Honda has alternated as a constructor and engine supplier from 1964 to 2020.
Most recently, before partnering with the Red Bull teams, they were involved with McLaren between 2015-2017. They have won 77 Grand Prix races in total, from their associations with different teams.
After a successful trial run with Toro Rosso in 2018, the Red Bull group incorporated Honda’s engine for the main team as well. By doing so, Max Verstappen gave the motor giants their first win in the 2019 Austrian GP.
But now, they will exit the sport in 2021, leaving Red Bull in an uncomfortable position. The group begins a frantic search for a new engine supplier where the options are frankly very limited in number.