Formula One is losing one of their core engine suppliers after the 2021 campaign, with Honda announcing its departure on October 1st. This announcement shocked the Formula One community, with Red Bull Racing & Scuderia AlphaTauri having been prepared for this announcement for weeks. The two teams that use engine power-units from Honda were given pre-emptive notice, giving Red Bulls Christian Horner & Scuderia AlphaTauri’s Franz Tost, the chance to locate new suppliers immediately.
Honda gave questionable excuses on their departure from Formula One. Honda claims its funnelling corporate resources into developing renewable engines like BEVs or FCVs. Honda was to become a carbon-free auto-manufacturer for 2025, which they believe isn’t possible by remaining in Formula One. The reason this excuse is questionable is that all other petrol-based motorsports that Honda operates in will continue to maintain the engine supplier. This means Honda isn’t leaving MotoGP or IndyCar. What the simple reasoning for their departure is COVID-19 and the financial burdens associated with the pandemic. Honda cannot afford the millions required for creating new engines each year.
Red Bull Racing & Scuderia AlphaTauri have three engine suppliers to select for the 2022 Formula One Season. Ferrari, Mercedes, and Renault are the remaining suppliers. It’s unlikely that Mercedes willing awards Red Bull with a power-unit for the RB20, with similar unfavourable odds for AlphaTauri. Ferrari will follow suit with concerns that Red Bull & AlphaTauri can outperform their engineers in development on the power unit. It leaves Renault as the remaining option, which worked horribly for Red Bull Racing & AlphaTauri last time around. It’ll be something that Christian Horner & Franz Tost avoids at all costs.
New Supplier Into F1
One remaining option for Scuderia AlphaTauri & Red Bull Racing is locating another engine supplier to enter Formula One. This supplier would takeover the concord agreement contract signed by Honda and would begin providing both teams with different power units. Viable options available to Scuderia AlphaTauri include Volkswagen, BMW, Jaguar, and Ford Europe.
Frank Tost expressed disappointment towards the loss of Honda but evoked respect for their decision and believes their environmental initiatives will prove favourable for carbon neutrality.