Tost rues ‘unfortunate’ timing of Honda exit

Michelle Foster
AlphaTauri Honda

AlphaTauri Honda

Franz Tost says it is “unfortunate” that Honda have decided to quit Formula 1 at a time when the Japanese manufacturer’s engine is on the up.

Honda returned to Formula 1 in 2015, signing with McLaren.

After three trying seasons the relationship ended with the Japanese engine supplier instead moving to AlphaTauri before Red Bull joined the party a year later.

Powering this year’s AT01, Honda helped Pierre Gasly take the team’s second career race win when he clinched the victory at the Italian Grand Prix.

Honda and AlphaTauri have also bagged two podium results last season with Daniil Kvyat third in Germany and Gasly finishing runner up in Brazil.

The partnership will, however, concluded at the end of next season.

Tost says while he respects Honda’s decision, it is “unfortunate”.

“Scuderia AlphaTauri and Honda have built up a very good and professional relationship since we started to cooperate in 2018,” said the AlphaTauri team boss.

“We enjoyed great success together in the last few years, winning a race and finishing on the podium twice, with one second and one third place.

“It’s unfortunate that Honda has decided to stop their commitment in Formula One, because their power unit’s performance has been improving constantly and dramatically to become one of the best engines on the grid in a short period of time, since they returned to the sport.

“I’m convinced that together we will continue to achieve strong results in the remaining races this season and next year.

“We certainly respect the reason behind Honda’s decision to focus on environmental initiatives and to strive for the realisation of carbon neutrality, everybody at Scuderia AlphaTauri wish them well in reaching all their goals and to have a successful future ahead.

“We sincerely want to thank Honda for the fruitful cooperation, we really enjoyed every day we’ve been working together.

“It won’t be easy to find an engine partner like Honda but, of course, we will start looking at all possibilities to find the best power unit solution from 2022 onwards.”

AlphaTauri has previously run Cosworth, Ferrari and Renault engines.

Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri

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Honda announced on Friday that 2021 will be its final season in Formula 1.

Citing its desire to “strive for the realisation of carbon neutrality by 2050”, “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.’

“Honda will work together with Red Bull Racing and Scuderia AlphaTauri to continue competing with its utmost effort and strive for more victories all the way to the end of the 2021 season.”

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