Honda management announced that it will withdraw from F1 after the contract expires at the end of 2021 and end cooperation with the two Red Bull teams.
On Friday morning Beijing time, Honda held a press conference at its headquarters in Japan to announce the decision.
Honda wrote in a statement: “Honda needs to focus the company’s R&D resources on future power unit and energy technology fields, including fuel cell vehicles and electric vehicle technology, which will be the core of carbon-free technology.”
Honda's withdrawal from F1 is not news. Since returning to F1 with McLaren in 2015, Honda has invested a lot of resources, but things have turned out to be counterproductive. In 2018, Honda first cooperated with the Red Bull Racing Team; in 2019, Honda and the Red Bull Racing Team became the engine supplier for the two Red Bull Racing Teams.
In the 2019 season, Red Bull Racing helped Honda win the first podium and first race championship since returning to F1. In the 2020 Italian Grand Prix, Gasly became the second Red Bull driver to win the scoring race with a Honda engine.
Starting in 2019, Honda has begun to weigh the F1 engine supply contract that expires at the end of 2020. Verstappen's victory in Austria in the 2019 season prompted Honda to make a one-year contract extension. Honda explained at the time that the bigger problem was the investment required to make a project.
"We started to calculate how much the future rules will cost," Honda F1 project director Masashi Yamamoto told Motorsport.com at the time. Masashi Yamamoto admitted at the time that "cost is the biggest problem." However, he also emphasized that winning was Honda's top priority at the time. "Once we decide to participate, we have to win."