Honda has announced that it is quitting Formula 1, effective the end of the 2021 season.
The Japanese marque currently supplies Red Bull Racing and its junior team, Scuderia AlphaTauri, having returned to F1 with McLaren in 2015.
It has cited a move to redirect investment into new full cell and battery technologies as the reason for the decision to exit the category.
“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,” read a statement from Honda, in part.
“As a part of this move, in April of this year, Honda created a new center called Innovative Research Excellence, Power Unit & Energy.
“Honda will allocate its energy management and fuel technologies as well as knowledge amassed through F1 activities to this area of power unit and energy technologies and take initiatives while focusing on the future realization of carbon neutrality.
“Toward this end, Honda made the decision to conclude its participation in F1.”
Honda’s McLaren partnership produced years of frustration, before a switch to Scuderia Toro Rosso, as AlphaTauri was then known, in 2018.
The senior Red Bull team also changed over from Renault in 2019, with Max Verstappen helping Honda to its first win in the hybrid era midway through that season in Austria.
The Dutchman has added three more since, while AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly chipped in with victory at Monza last month.
“Motorsports activities are in Honda’s DNA, and therefore Honda will continue to be passionate about taking on challenges and striving to become No. 1 in all categories of racing in which Honda participates,” added the Honda statement.
“In F1, in order to fulfill the expectations of its fans, Honda will work together with Red Bull Racing and Scuderia AlphaTauri to continue competing with its utmost effort and strive for more victories all the way to the end of the 2021 season.
“With its ‘challenging spirit’ cultivated through motorsports activities, Honda will take on the new challenge of the future realization of carbon neutrality.
“Honda will appreciate the continuous understanding and support for its motorsports activities and for the new challenge of Honda.”