• Honda announced it stop its F1 involvement after the 2021 season.
• Honda engines power the Red Bull and AlphaTauri teams.
• Honda engines have won five races since returning to the sport in 2015.
• For more motoring stories, go to www.Wheels24.co.za
Honda announced that it will end its Formula 1 participation at the end of the 2021 season.
The team made the announcement on their Twitter page, saying that it will no longer be an engine supplier. The news comes as little shock, given the Japanese giant's struggles in the sport in recent years - despite an improved showing after powering Red Bull to several race wins.
In an official release, Honda said: "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.' 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."
The good and the bad
Honda returned to F1 in 2015 as engine partner to the McLaren team. The reunion had plenty of promise but failed to live up to the hype leading up to that year's season. Even with seasoned driver, Fernando Alonso, behind the wheel, the team relished at the back of the field and registered more DNFs than they would have liked.
Towards the closing stages of the 2018 season, and after the umpteenth bad result, Honda and McLaren announced that the 'dream reunion' was over. McLaren would use Renault engines from 2019 onwards, while Red Bull and Toro Rosso (now AlphaTauri) would go into partnership after their relationship with Renault fell apart.
The Red Bull-Honda partnership faired far better, and in 2019, Honda would register their first win since returning to the sport. Two more wins would follow in last year. In 2020, with a dominant Mercedes team running away with the championship, Honda registered a further two wins to their name: one each with Red Bull and Max Verstappen, and AlphaTauri and Pierre Gasly.
Honda said in closing: "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."