AlphaTauri’s Tost: Honda departure from F1 ‘unfortunate’

Scuderia AlphaTauri boss Franz Tost qualified as “unfortunate” Honda’s decision to withdraw form Formula 1 at the end the 2021.

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On Friday, the Japanese manufacturer justified its exit from the sport by a need “to funnel its corporate resources in research and development into the areas of future power unit and energy technologies, including fuel cell vehicle (FCV) and battery EV (BEV) technologies, which will be the core of carbon-free technologies.”

The news is obviously a blow to F1 which is now left with just three engine suppliers, Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault.

But the decision also complicates matters for Red Bull Racing and AlphaTauri which are now left without engine supply deals after 2020, and limited time and a sparse choice of partners to solve their conundrum.

Read also: Honda to withdraw from F1 at the end of 2021!

“Scuderia AlphaTauri and Honda have built up a very good and professional relationship since we started to cooperate in 2018”, said Tost, whose team delivered to Honda its most recent win, achieved at Monza with Pierre Gasly.

“It’s unfortunate that Honda has decided to stop their commitment in F1, 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 realization 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.”

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Red Bull motorsport boss Helmut Marko insisted the energy drink company remained committed to F1 despite the loss of its engine partner.

“Our immediate ambition for the remainder of the 2020 and 2021 seasons is to work with Honda to chase race wins and be strong championship contenders,” said Marko.

“Beyond that we will work with our teams to evaluate the most competitive power unit solutions for 2022 and beyond. We remain committed to the sport, with both teams are signatories to F1’s latest Concorde Agreement.”

The consequences of Honda’s exit could also extend to the drivers’ market. It is believed that Honda protégé Yuki Tsunoda is earmarked by the Japanese manufacturer for a promotion to F1 in 2021 with AlphaTauri.

But Friday’s bombshell news may have put paid to the 20-year-old F2 racer’s chances of stepping up to the next level next year.

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