Honda, of course, is hoping for one last hurrah. With the Red Bull’s looking very competitive against the dominant Mercedes.
Considering Honda is leaving F1 at the end of 2021, and now for the first time in the turbo-hybrid era, it has developed an engine that many consider being the class of the field, the Japanese outfit is reportedly pushing the Japanese government to help arrange a farewell race at the legendary Suzuka track which is owned by the team. There is a lot of uncertainty around a number of the announced races, the Canadian GP being the one with the most question marks. F1 has said that Turkey is on standby and the German tracks of the Nurburgring and Hockenheim are also on standby, but Honda wants that Suzuka should also have a shot.
“A Japanese colleague told me that Honda is putting a lot of pressure on the Japanese government, they really want to keep their farewell race in Japan,” Michael Schmidt of Auto Motor Und Sport said.
Japan is particularly strict about travellers from other countries just like Australia which was the cause behind the rescheduling of the first race of the season. Suzuka hasn’t hosted a race since 2019 because of the travel restrictions caused by the pandemic.
Suzuka, of course, is one of the oldest tracks in the world. It’s legendary for being a tricky track and is much loved by many drivers like Michael Schumacher and Aryton Senna. It is also owned by MobilityLand Corporation which is a subsidiary of Honda. It was originally designed in 1962 to be a Honda test track much like Fiorano which is Ferrari’s home track.
Honda, of course, is hoping for one last hurrah. With the Red Bull’s looking very competitive against the dominant Mercedes, this could be Honda’s one and only shot at winning a world title. That’s why it wants a race at its home where for the first time it will be competitive. It will also be able to rid itself of the horrific “GP2 engine” comment by Fernando Alonso in the McLaren-Honda which led to the end of the McLaren-Honda relationship.