Tanabe says Honda crews ‘very sad’ to leave F1

Honda F1’s technical director Toyoharu Tanabe says his entire team will be “very sad” to leave Formula 1 behind at the end of next year.

The Japanese manufacturer will pull the plug on its involvement in Grand Prix racing at the end of 2021 to channel its engineering resources towards future power unit and energy technologies such as battery and fuel cell vehicles.

Honda had returned to F1 in 2015 with McLaren before switching its engine supply deal to Red Bull’s teams, collecting to date five wins with Red Bull Racing and AlphaTauri.

“Everyone involved in Honda’s F1 project is very sad that our time in the sport is coming to an end,” said Tanabe-san.

“We have enjoyed excellent partnerships with Aston Martin Red Bull Racing and Scuderia AlphaTauri and I am proud of what we have achieved with both teams so far in terms of wins and podium finishes.”

    Renault ‘takes no satisfaction’ from Honda exit

Ahead of its exit, Honda remains determined to boost its track record in F1 and the manufacturer will supply its teams with an all-new engine in 2021 to support Red Bull and Max Verstappen’s championship ambitions.

“For the moment, our work continues exactly as before and we will be doing our utmost to secure more wins and good results with both teams,” added the Japanese engineer.

“We have also assured the FIA and Formula 1 of our intention to fully meet our responsibilities, not just towards our two teams but also to the sport in general, all the way through to the end of the 2021 season.”

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