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HONDA PULL OUT OF F1, RED BULL QUITS & MANUFACTURERS QUESTION PARTICIPATION

Discussion in 'F1' started by william, Dec 3, 2019 at 10:48 PM.

  1. william

    william F1 World Champ

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    HONDA PULL OUT OF F1, RED BULL QUITS & MANUFACTURERS QUESTION PARTICIPATION


    https://thejudge13.com/2019/12/03/honda-pull-out-of-f1-red-bull-quits-manufacturers-question-participation/

    A while ago, TJ13 published an article that could herald the beginning of the end of big global manufacturer participation in Formula 1 – In it we described a set of circumstances recently occurring which are making the current F1 teams sit up and take notice.

    For your information, the article in question can be found via this link here, https://thejudge13.com/2019/11/23/f1-crisis-looming-no-manufacturers-breaking-news-on-porsche-vw-audi/ but in summary, we describe the announcement from the VW Group declaring that VW will not participate in any motorsport involving internal combustion engines, as possibly the most seismic event in motorsport to date.

    “Volkswagen has confirmed that it will stop backing all motorsport programmes which feature internal combustion engines, instead shifting focus to electric mobility programmes.” is more or less the scale of the statement made by VW.

    Further copy has now been written elsewhere that potentially links Honda into a similar stance, more on that later.

    For fans of F1, and there are many who follow other forms of motorsport, this VW Group statement does bring a feeling of worry and concern that their beloved sport is set to change forever, and not necessarily for the better. Perhaps for others, who probably do not frequent TJ13 I might add, this VW statement means little – after all, VW doesn’t have anything to do with F1 right?

    Wrong.

    VW Group is a global powerhouse, and their stance of electrification of road cars, in particular, a response to ‘dieselgate’ in the US some years ago, means that they are the pathfinders into a marketing message that shuns any form of ‘environmental polluting’ forms of transport. i.e. fossil-fueled engines.

    Other European manufacturers are taking notice, and indeed will be ramping up their own message to the public that their brand won’t be responsible for the increase in global warming that is fast becoming apparent in the world, despite what the likes of Donald Trump say.

    This move to change to electric vehicles (EV’s) has been pushed by both public mood and political rhetoric that has since become law in many, admittedly for now mostly European countries. Countries are fast mandating that internal combustion-engined vehicles will be outlawed sooner rather than later.

    But is it just the European manufacturers responding to this shift?

    Renowned Formula 1 copywriter Dieter Rencken has very recently penned an article in Dutch for GPToday.net noticing that Honda is acting rather strangely in recent times. Not many other English speaking F1 news sites have picked up on this ‘op-ed’ by Rencken, but for TJ13, this report increases the likelihood that sooner rather than later Formula 1 will be set to change dramatically, akin to the end of 2008. Another year of dramatic rule changes which coincided with a mass manufacturer pull out.

    In the article, Dieter questions the recent announcement of Red Bull’s continuation with Honda into 2021 – Red Bull Racing announcing on Twitter that “We’ll be #PoweredbyHonda in 2021! The Team are delighted to confirm that we have extended our partnership to use HondaHybridPower. @HondaRacingF1.”

    Sister team Scuderia Toro Rosso sent a tweet that was even shorter: “It’s great to confirm that @HondaRacingF1 will continue to supply the team into the new era of Formula 1.”

    “There was no press release, not a word was said about the period after 2021, so a high-ranking figure within F1 describes the overall strategy as ‘bizarre’.” describes Rencken in his piece.

    The reality of the Honda situation is that they simply do not have a firm long term plan for their continued participation in Formula 1. And frankly, this has just been hugely re-enforced by the weak marketing and total lack of a collaborative message between Red Bull Racing, Toro Rosso (soon to be called Scuderia Alpha Tauri) and Honda themselves.

    According to Rencken, a source within Honda says that this lack of clarity of message is driven by ‘uncertainty around the motor industry’ and the cost of the Honda F1 project.

    Further, President and CEO of Honda, Takahiro Hachigo, recently made a speech at the Toyota Motorshow and not once did the boss of Honda mention motorsport, but yet focused on a theme we see the VW Group purposely move wholeheartedly on. Electrification. To be precise, ‘Honda e:TECHNOLOGY’ and the associated term e:HEV.

    Cost is also hugely important, plus Honda does have a rich history of suddenly removing themselves from Formula 1, rather frequently over the decades.

    To date, this current guise is Honda’s fifth, sixth or seventh participation in F1 since 1964, depending on how the programs are counted and under what denominator they were active: Honda, Mugen, Mugen-Honda, Aguri… etc. No other manufacturer comes close to leaving the sport so often. To coin a court term (I am ‘the judge’ after all), there is a precedent.

    And like many other manufacturers, the commitment to EV’s has now taken primary focus in the mid to long term goals.

    Indeed, at the Geneva motor show in the spring of this year, Honda made the ambitious plan to ‘only sell electric vehicles in Europe by 2025’. Now tell me where F1 fits in that long term strategy?

    Back to Dieter Rencken’s article, and in it the journalist asks a very important question in his conclusion… What are the consequences for Red Bull and Toro Rosso? And what is the result of Honda’s lack of dedication to its partner teams?

    “The prospects for the global automotive industry are unlikely to change dramatically in the next 12 months – when Honda’s management will have to look again at F1 – while the requirement for further electrification is unlikely to diminish.” says Rencken.

    “Nor is there currently any prospect of new engine suppliers. Even if one were to appear now, it is unlikely to be competitive before the end of 2021,

    “Also, Ferrari and Mercedes will probably not voluntarily supply their biggest opponent with engines, while the latter already has a full portfolio of customers.” says the Dutch reporter.

    What about Renault, Red Bull’s favourite whipping boy of the V8 era going into the ill-fated hybrid V6 era for the French manufacturer. Well, there are no guarantees that Renault will stay in F1, because they also feel the ‘uncertainty’ in the car industry, apart from the fact that they also have a series of internal problems.

    One must also consider the fact that Renault would rather throw a hand grenade at Christian Horner’s face, than allow their engines to power the Red Bull’s ever again.

    Consider too that the rumours previously reported by TJ13 last week (READ MORE HERE) https://thejudge13.com/2019/11/16/evidence-mclaren-return-to-works-status-as-mercedes-sells-team/ that Mercedes are set to sell their works team, probably to Roger Penske and maybe ‘A. N. Other’ whilst maintaining their F1 presence as an engine only supplier, we will likely see a wholesale shift of focus for manufacturers away from Formula 1.

    Should such a seismic event occur, we could also see Red Bull pull out entirely from Formula 1 if Honda decides to pull the plug suddenly like they’ve done countless times before. Unless Mercedes end up powering most of the grid that aren’t powered by Ferrari.

    Perhaps an Indycar ‘spec series’ post-2021 is as likely as we all fear. After all, we have American owners now who enjoy bending the FIA rule makers into developing rules unsuited to creative engineering solutions ‘for the sake of the show’, using Ross Brawn at the vanguard.

    Whatever the outcome, we will surely see less manufacturer domination in F1 of tomorrow, unless Formula 1 is able to change it’s formula.
     
  2. DF1

    DF1 F1 World Champ
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    The dilemma of F1 since FE was engaged and continues to grow. F1 is at a junction for survival. The makers are the only thing it has left. As I stated, Liberty bought a declining series. Bernie wins LOL
     
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  3. crinoid

    crinoid F1 Veteran
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    When automakers decide to become IT companies we’re all screwed.
     
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  4. cloverleaf

    cloverleaf Karting

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    The columnist mistakes a Volkswagen brand press release for a Volkswagen Group one, proceeds to write an entire series of speculative articles on that premise...
     
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  5. DeSoto

    DeSoto F1 Veteran

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    Clickbait followed by lots of speculation.

    And as noted above, Audi, Porsche and Skoda are still racing with petrol. VW itself rarely had a serious involvement in motorsport, I think their biggest effort ever was their rally team of some years ago, so their "sudden" interest in electric racing has a less important impact in the motorsport world than it may look.
     
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  6. subirg

    subirg F1 Rookie

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    Personally I would like the manufacturers to get out of the sport. They are useful for providing components like engines and gearboxes, but beyond that I’d prefer to see a return to dedicated F1 teams who’s primary purpose is F1 rather than marketing.
     
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  7. william

    william F1 World Champ

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    I tend to agree with that up to a point.
    I think some constructors want to get involved as a team rather than a supplier because the publicity return (in case of success) is a lot bigger.
    For example, Vettel was 4-time WDC, but who got the credit? It was Red Bull, whilst Renault was hardly mentioned in the success !
    If all the manufacturers were to pull out in one got, F1 would be in big trouble; their investment would be missed.
    Since to tobacco advertising ban, most independent teams don't attract enough sponsorhip and are struggling for budget; some of them are secretly subsidised by their engine provider.
     
  8. Turbopanzer

    Turbopanzer F1 Veteran

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    #8 Turbopanzer, Dec 4, 2019 at 6:36 PM
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2019 at 6:43 PM
    Can the sport return to its origins ? Manufacturer invovlement has done considerable damage to the sport. Who can now afford the effort to produce a chassis design and cost of operation? Or does the sport turn to governments for subsidies? Considering the current climate of motor racing as a whole, I do not see how anyone would want to take this on. What benefit would they gain from doing so?
     
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  9. william

    william F1 World Champ

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    I can't see governments subsidising F1 teams like when the Nazis supported Mercedes and Auto-Union, but even that was exagerated.
    The French government helped Matra to build a V12.
    Middle and Far-East governments support F1 by paying for GPs in their countries, but that's as ,far as it goes.

    F1 is very much depending on the car manufacturers and TV revenues to survive. Most sponsorships have dried out.
    The tyres companies have been illiminated by the rules. The oil companies don't make the profits they used to.
    The tobacco companies have been banned and the banks are reluctant to advertise now. There is not much left.
    F1 is at the mercy of TV companies buying broadcasting rights, and the pay viewers.
     
  10. ago car nut

    ago car nut F1 Rookie
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    Tobacco advertising. How many people that watch F1 Started smoking because a name on a racing car?
     
  11. Turbopanzer

    Turbopanzer F1 Veteran

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    This is why I agree with you. With the current contraction of the global automotive market and the continual restructuring of manufacturer's, I do not see a positive for any form of racing. F1 simply is at the top of the food chain so it gets the greatest exposure for it. The recent purchase of IMS by Mr Penske also puts into question whether or not the Indy 500 will become part of F1 again. As we move toward an electric vehicle future one needs to ask for what reason will any racing be allowed or required? The technologies of electric vehicles and the addition of social media to society indicate that traditional methods of development of product and its marketing of it are no longer required. As for TV...streaming media seems to be the future with its on demand capabilities and wireless format. So where do we go from here?
     
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  12. johnireland

    johnireland Formula 3
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    The future is simple and it will be here sooner than anyone is expecting. F1 will buy FE...and then F1 will be an electric series overnight. Advertisers will buy add space, the cars will be more spec than not, and the Battlebot and Drone racing fans will climb on board. Shorter 90 minute races with lots of side show attractions. Lots of gimmicks such as "fan boost" and electronically controlled penalties, two drivers per car with mandatory driver change per race (perhaps gender balanced), and artificial movie sound effects for the cars to replace engine noise. The young will eat our lunch and then they will eat us.
     
  13. william

    william F1 World Champ

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    That's not the point. The fact is that tobacco advertising is bannned.
     
  14. Turbopanzer

    Turbopanzer F1 Veteran

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    So our worst fears become realized? I now understand why my father stated why he was glad that he lived when he did. I always expected racing to be a test of man and machine. With it the skills of both the driver and the mechanic/engineer would be tested. Now, it seems to be a carnival act.

    Shoot me now before it gets any worse !
     
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  15. rdefabri

    rdefabri Three Time F1 World Champ
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    Nah, FE is ****. The series will collapse if F1 morphs into FE.

    Agree they should acquire but keep separate - it’s a niche at the moment.
     
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  16. Gatorrari

    Gatorrari F1 World Champ
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    I think we'd wind up back in the '70s, with pure gasoline-powered engines supplied by "garage" makers like Cosworth. And the racing will be better for it!
     
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  17. ago car nut

    ago car nut F1 Rookie
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    I would hope this would happen!
     
  18. DGS

    DGS Three Time F1 World Champ
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    If we lose the auto makers, F1 will become Indycar.
     
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  19. DF1

    DF1 F1 World Champ
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    Mercedes and others are there now - FE. F1 is at risk. Not FE. Not at all as the situation appears to evolve.
     
  20. F2003-GA

    F2003-GA F1 World Champ
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    F1 will have hybrid formula for another decade But will get cleaner each year
    They have to have noise otherwise ticket sales and the show will suffer IMO
     
  21. TheMayor

    TheMayor Seven Time F1 World Champ
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    GM's CEO today said electric vehicles are the future of GM. ICE is going the way of the Horse and Buggy.

    Unfortunately, I think she's correct.

    I can see a point where F1 mergers or takes over Formula E forever.
     
  22. DF1

    DF1 F1 World Champ
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    The makers who are in FE will have LARGE amount to say about any F1 takeover lol.
     
  23. F2003-GA

    F2003-GA F1 World Champ
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    F1 does not have to takeover anything they can simply switch to Electric themselves If they choose to do so
     
  24. TheMayor

    TheMayor Seven Time F1 World Champ
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    Exactly. If F1 went electric what could they do? Become the new F3?
     
  25. Jack-the-lad

    Jack-the-lad Three Time F1 World Champ
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    VW continues to self flagellate over the Diesel scandal. I guess going all electric is part of their self imposed penance.

    When the author says that the push to electric is driven by public mood, well i just think that’s bull ****, at least in the US where people drive long distances and aren’t willing to wait hours to “fill up.” Maybe some early adopters and urban commuters are ok with 100% EV, but most people will only tolerate hybrid.
     

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