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Honda 'never discussed' potential U-turn to stay in F1

A potential U-turn to remain in Formula 1 was never discussed by Honda, according to Chief Executive Masashi Yamamoto.

Honda insist they "never had a discussion" to stay in Formula 1, despite the success of Red Bull and Max Verstappen in 2021 as they won the Drivers' Championship. Verstappen, who won 10 races this season, became the first Honda-powered driver to claim the title since Ayrton Senna in 1991, after winning the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix with a dramatic last-lap overtake on Lewis Hamilton. Honda announced they would leave the sport at the end of this year in October 2020, having spent seven seasons in F1's turbo-hybrid era. "Leaving F1 was a very big decision for Honda, and it was for the carbon-neutral and also for the customers all over the world," Honda Chief Executive Masashi Yamamoto told media, including RacingNews365.com . "Although we're having good results this year, we never had a discussion to stay here."

Red Bull and Honda to maintain a relationship

Honda's departure means Red Bull and AlphaTauri's engines will be run by Red Bull Powertrains, ahead of the engine freeze in 2022. Red Bull Powertrains will have the right to use Honda's IP relating to the power unit and Honda will continue to supply Red Bull's and AlphaTauri's engines from their base in Sakura. "It will be totally controlled by Red Bull but in accordance with Red Bull's request and also to support as much as possible the F1 activity for AlphaTauri and Red Bull," said Yamamoto. "Honda will do our best."

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