Tost suggests Honda split over Formula 1 exit decision

Date published: October 17 2021 - Mark Scott

Pierre Gasly in action for the Honda-powered AlphaTauri. Istanbul October 2021

AlphaTauri boss, Franz Tost, suspects there was a difference of opinion at Honda as to whether they should call it quits on their Formula 1 programme.

We are getting ever closer to waving goodbye to the Japanese engine manufacturer and the send-offs have already begun with Red Bull adopting a special Honda-themed livery on their RB16B at the Turkish Grand Prix.

But, while Honda continue to give Red Bull everything they can to potentially bring home some silverware come the end of the season, the questions are still being asked as to why they are even leaving given the amazing progress they have made over the years.

Tost was asked that very question and, even though he is not fully informed on the inner workings of Honda and their discussions, he does believe their management team and board members had varying levels of attachment to Formula 1.

“I can’t talk in the name of the management and of the board from Honda,” Tost told reporters at the Turkish Grand Prix press conference.

“But, as you know, the great manufacturers, there are some people, some managers who were happy to do Formula 1 and others that think the company should go in another direction.

“Honda has decided to go out from Formula 1 and nevertheless there is a close cooperation with Honda and Red Bull Technology in the future.

“Whether then Honda will come back, I don’t know. Currently, they have decided to stop at the end of this year and will provide us and Red Bull Racing with engines in 2022 and from 2023 the engines will be designed and built by Red Bull Powertrain Technology Group and the rest we will see.”

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‘Goodbye’ to Honda, may even just turn out to be ‘farewell’, with managing director Masashi Yamamoto hopeful they will come back to Formula 1 in future.

β€œI personally think yes, we are going to be back,” Yamamoto said.

β€œNow it’s a situation where Honda has to concentrate on the carbon neutral and we have to accelerate the project.

β€œBut once it’s going well, I think there will be people who want to do F1 inside the company.”