Honda announced in October 2020 that it would retire from F1 after the 2021 season, with the Red Bull partner team moving engine production in-house at its Milton Keynes campus for powertrains both used by Red Bull Racing and AlphaTauri.
While Honda will help Red Bull with its powertrain, Honda F1 director Masashi Yamamoto has previously said that the development “will be totally controlled by Red Bull but in accordance with Red Bull’s request”.
Honda started their final stint in F1 with a busy three-year partnership with McLaren, which ended early in the 2017 season due to a lack of results and an increasingly difficult working relationship.
In the early years Honda particularly struggled with the development of the MGU-H and with adapting its engine concept to McLaren’s specific design needs, while communication between the two parties also proved to be an obstacle. .
McLaren switched to Renault for the 2018 season, while Honda attracted Red Bull B team Toro Rosso, paving the way for a full Red Bull partnership from 2019.
Two-time F1 world champion Fernando Alonso, who drove for McLaren for the three Honda years, has also done little to endear him to the proud Japanese company, sadly calling his powertrain a “GP2 engine. “during the 2015 Japanese Grand Prix.
Fernando Alonso, Alpine F1
Photo by: Jerry Andre / Motorsport Images
But now Honda is leaving F1, Alonso is happy to see the manufacturer win and sad to see him leave the series.
“Obviously when they left McLaren I think they weren’t about to dream of the Formula 1 championship. But they did a really good job, they appointed the right people,” he said. Alonso said when asked by Autosport what he thought of Honda. quit F1.
“I think they changed the direction, and they introduced a new philosophy and they got the job done, and I’m so happy for them. And I’m sad they’re leaving now. But I hope they come back. “
Alonso said that despite the rift caused by the McLaren-Honda split, he was now on good terms with Yamamoto and said he immediately joined the Honda boss in F1 after Verstappen won the world title at Abu Dhabi.
“I was talking with Yamamoto-san, all these last 3-4 Grands Prix, because I have a really good connection with him,” Alonso revealed.
“He’s the guy who let me test MotoGP etc and we’re still in a really good relationship. And he’s the first guy I congratulated after Max in the parc fermé so I’m happy for them. “