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Honda Commits to F1 Till At Least 2021

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Verstappen Leads at 2019 Brazil GP
Photo: Honda

Following the publication of Formula 1’s new regulations for 2021, Honda has committed to staying in the sport for at least another two years after extending its engine deal with the Red Bull organization.

Honda will continue to provide engines to Red Bull Racing and its junior team Scuderia Toro Rosso through 2021, which Red Bull motorsport advisor Dr. Helmut Marko called “a great relief” in an interview with Servus TV.

Honda rejoined the sport in 2015 but suffered from poor reliability and performance that eventually ended its relationship with McLaren after three difficult years. In 2018 it began to provide engines to Toro Rosso as a way to court Red Bull Racing, and had improved enough to convince the former to leave its long-time partner Renault.

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The Japanese manufacturer then had its best F1 season in decades, ending a 13-year victory draught at the Austrian Grand Prix and earning its first 1-2 finish in 28 years in Brazil.

But despite the strong results, Honda F1 managing director Masashi Yamamoto says that cost is an issue that needs to be addressed if Honda is to stay in the sport in the long term. “It’s positive to have good results,” he said, “but more important thing is a balance with the cost.”

“We have to put lots of budget to accelerate our development to catch up to the top runners. And now we are planning how to maintain current condition and reducing the cost at the same time.”

The 2021 regulations introduced cost-cutting measures that, in theory, should help even the playing field in F1 and allow teams to continue competing at a high level without having to spend hundreds of millions of dollars. Honda’s future in F1 will likely depend on its results in 2020 and 2021, and on how effective the new regulations really are in reducing costs.

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