F1 boss Chase Carey says Honda’s decision to leave the sport at the end of next year is rooted in financial considerations, but it compels F1 to address the economics around Grand Prix racing’s future engine platform.
Last month, Honda justified its decision to leave F1 by the automobile industry’s paradigm shift and the need to redirect its resources in research and development to areas of future growth regarding power unit technologies and sustainability.
Carey was queried on Honda’s decision in a conference call with Wall Street analysts on Thursday following the release of Formula 1’s third quarter results, and F1’s outgoing CEO believes Honda’s exit is mainly linked to the “economic challenges” currently facing the Japanese manufacturer.
“I guess two things on the Honda decision,” Carey said.
“I think one is that it was, from my perspective, largely driven by economic challenges at the overall Honda entity.
“The auto industry in general is having some challenges, and I think Honda clearly is living and struggling with those challenges. So I think that was the core issue.
“There’s no question that there are economics around the engine that we’re going to address. But I think Honda felt those pressures existed today, and they had to make some decisions.”
Formula 1 is engaged in its own push towards sustainability, having announced last year a comprehensive plan and green campaign that will lead to the sport having a net zero carbon footprint by 2030, with bio-fuels also part of the mix.
Ferrari banking on all-new power unit for 2021
As teams are set to ramp up discussions on F1’s future engine platform, set to be introduced in 2026, Carey says support for the sport’s efforts in terms of sustainability has been forthcoming from manufacturers from inside and outside F1.
“I think on the flip side, we actually are getting increasing support,” Carey said. “And not just from the players that are in the sport, the OEMs that are in the sport, but OEMs that aren’t.
“They’re actually incredibly enthusiastic about our sustainability future, where we’re going with the next generation engine.
“I don’t know if you saw the quote a couple months ago from the CEO of Volkswagen, they couldn’t have been more positive about where we’re going, and the importance of us as a platform.
“So I think as we continue to flush out and put more information out there about our next generation engine and sustainability goals we’re actually getting increasing support and interest from both existing partners and potential new partners about the importance of that to their future.”
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