Japanese F1 engine maker Honda wants to say goodbye to Formula 1 with the title of a champion even though they only achieved three wins in 17 races last season, but they believe that 2021 with Red Bull can be close enough to Mercedes.
Honda returned in 2015 as an engine manufacturer after retiring from Formula 1 as a factory team at the end of 2008, and after three frustrating seasons in 2018, they move to Toro Rosso, after which Red Bull 2019 switched to their engines.
Verstappen was the biggest threat to the dominant Mercedes last year, but due to the big difference in speed, the Dutchman was not in the game for the title, although he drove a very good season with few mistakes. Honda will withdraw from Formula 1 at the end of 2021 and leave Red Bull and AlphaTauri without an engine unless manufacturers agree on an earlier freeze on engine development that would allow Red Bull to continue using Japanese powertrains.
“Of course, we are developing a new powertrain for 2021, not only for performance but also for reliability, and then we will know if we are still behind Mercedes,” Toyoharu Tanabe said. "And the other rivals won't sleep in between in the preseason."
"We have a very short off-season this season, but everyone in Formula 1 is investing the maximum to win races and championships so it's not easy to say we're going to win." "On the other hand, I would be thrilled to win more races and try to be a candidate for the 2021 championship.
We will continue to work hard on our drive unit for 2021."
Verstappen achieved his first Honda victory in 2020 in the second race at Silverstone before Gasly added another victory at Monza, and Verstappen also celebrated in the last race of the season in Abu Dhabi from the pole position.
“It was a good result for Honda for the end of the year,” Tanabe said. "Another positive thing is the improved reliability - we only used three power units per driver and had no penalties for the power units."
"As we have already announced, at the end of 2021, Honda will withdraw from Formula 1. But our goal remains the same - to win the World Cup." "Together with our partners, we will work hard during the short preseason in search of more performance to come back stronger."