TOKYO: Honda will withdraw from Formula One at the end of the 2021 season as it shifts to a goal of carbon neutrality, the Japanese car manufacturer said Friday.
Honda is the engine supplier for the Red Bull and AlphaTauri teams. It had resumed competition in F1 in 2015.
Red Bull Racing said it was “disappointed” but noted the success of the partnership with Max Verstappen scoring Honda's first victory since 2006 at the 2019 Austrian Grand Prix, followed by three other wins and 13 podium finishes.
Team principal Christian Horner said they respect Honda's decision “to re-deploy their resources.”
“Their decision presents obvious challenges for us as a team but we have been here before and with our strength in depth we are well prepared and equipped to respond effectively, as we have proven in the past,” Horner said in a statement.
In its statement, Honda noted the partnership's success but also a period of change.
“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.
“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.