F1 | HONDA IS LEAVING, GIAN CARLO MINARDI “THEY CONFIRMED THE INITIAL PROGRAMME. MANY SCENARIOS ARE OPENING”
The news came like a bolt out of the blue. The Japanese company announced its withdrawal at the end of next season, leaving both Red Bull racing and Alpha Tauri without a supplier.
“Certainly for those directly interested it was not unexpected news and they will already be moving on a number of fronts,” commented Gian Carlo Minardi reached by telephone at Mugello where he is involved in the ACI Sport Racing Weekend.
“Honda’s departure is the result of the new Concord Agreement which allows everyone to leave Formula 1 with only a year’s notice without having to pay a penalty. Honestly, it’s not a good sign for the paddock. This news has blown everyone away, even if it was part of the initial plan by the Japanese who had stated right from the start their stay was up to 2021,” continued the manager from Faenza.
Honda is ready to end a cycle that was certainly not easy, even if they had started to reap the rewards with Red Bull which must now knock on the doors of Ferrari, Renault and Mercedes. “This decision opens many scenarios, one of which is the change of strategy by Mercedes with a programme directed solely at supplying engines. Mercedes could sell its team.”
In addition to the supply by Mercedes, the other channel could be the return of the Renault Power-Unit which from next year will be in the World Championship with the Alpine brand. “The relations between Red Bull and Renault were not the happiest for which the collaboration had an abrupt ending but at this time anything is possible” Honda’s exit could also be read as the failure of the hybrid era “The reality is that in this moment there are no news constructors interested in entering the world championship and from 2021 we will have only three engine producers. Not the best for the image of F1,” concluded Gian Carlo Minardi.