A fierce Friday morning for the fans of Formula 1 and Max Verstappen in particular: Honda pulls the plug after just a few years. It will retire from the F1 world after 2021. That means that ‘our’ Max does not have a car. Who should be the driving force behind the Red Bull racing team?
Honda in Formula 1
Honda returned to Formula 1 in 2015 , but that did not go well at McLaren. Fortunately, it switched to Toro Rosso in 2018, after which it has been supplying engines to Red Bull Racing since 2019. The Honda engine quickly became popular when it was under the wings of Red Bull. We have even seen Max achieve a number 1 position with it three times.
However, that was mainly in 2019, because in 2020 the engine fails more often. That is not necessarily the reason for Honda to stop: it itself indicates that it would like to be CO2 neutral by 2050. Moreover, it writes that the car industry is going through quite a bit of transformation. Reason for Honda to at least quit Formula 1.
Max Verstappen and Red Bull
With the engine faltering in 2020, it does not have to be a disaster for Verstappen that he will have to drive a different engine after 2021. The difficult thing is: which engine? There are not many suppliers left: Renault, Ferrari and Mercedes. Red Bull has previously worked with Renault, as it exchanged the French engine for Honda’s in 2017. According to the rules, Renault must supply an engine to the two teams from 2022.
It will probably go that way, unless Red Bull manages to attract another engine manufacturer. We do not expect Mercedes or Ferrari to change tack, because then they would give the competitor a huge lead. Maybe there is a new party on it? Tesla is probably not very suitable in Formula 1 in terms of mission, but who knows, there might be another, fairly new car supplier. In any case, Red Bull has to do something, because according to the contract it must be active in Formula 1 until at least 2025.