F1 Without Honda
An F1 without Honda is a vacuum that will be tough to fill
Honda’s early debut in F1 took place in 1964 as the manufacturer won two times in four seasons and left in 1968. The Japanese manufacturer came back with Team Spirit and steadily elevated itself to shake hands with Williams, Lotus and McLaren.
After enjoying a respectable run with McLaren in the years 88, 90 and 91; the manufacturer again hauled out from F1 and came back in 2000. The same tale was recited in 2008 as Honda left F1 to rejoin in 2015. 2020 and Honda has again decided to leave F1 by next year. Honda’s tale in F1 is unpredictable as the company left and came back several times because of financial dilemma and dearth of great engines.
What’s different this time?
At present, Honda’s motor is being applied by team Red Bull and Alpha Tauri. The manufacturer has a contract to live up to that goes till the end of the year 2021. In most cases, the contract is extended. However, Honda has voted not to expand the settling with the parties beyond 2021. The resolution has been taken early so that the teams can discover a suitable manufacturer for themselves.
This time, Honda is not retiring because of economic crisis, but it intends to accelerate the research and development on discovering another source of energy to obtain carbon neutrality by the year 2050. Honda strongly senses that they could apply the bulk of wealth and resources invested on F1 in other better places.
What happens to Red Bull and Alpha Tauri?
With no Honda, Red Bull and Alpha Tauri are in an absolute fix as it leaves both teams without an engine manufacturing firm. In less than 18 months, the next season will begin before which both the parties need to find an apt ally.
In such a plight, FIA (International Automobile Federation) guidelines express that other builders have to help a team. At present, four teams get their engines from Mercedes, whereas three teams are presented by Ferrari. Only one team is in a contract with Renault and therefore, the trust falls on the shoulder of Renault. Indeed, both the teams (Red Bull and Alpha Tauri) have to reach a bilateral arrangement with Renault. The last option is to sign with Mercedes or Ferrari, but it is hard to demand their engagement as they are already active with separate teams.
In the past, Renault and Red Bull have spent 12 seasons, but their relationship went sour and they broke the association. Will they get back together again? Only time will say.