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Honda extends commitment to F1

Max Verstappen driving the Aston Martin Red Bull Racing RB15 on track during the F1 Grand Prix of Brazil (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Japanese automotive manufacturer Honda will continue to supply Formula 1 engines until at least the end of the 2021 season after agreeing extended deals with Red Bull and Toro Rosso.

The one-year extensions have been signed ahead of the introduction of F1’s new regulations in 2021, which will be headlined by the sport’s first cost cap. The BBC reported that Honda is still in talks with Red Bull over a deal beyond 2021.

In a brief statement reported by the BBC, Honda said: “This time it is a contract extension, not a new case. Therefore, we have not made a press release.”

The regulation changes, announced last month, are broadly designed to promote closer racing, more balanced competition and ensure greater economic and sporting sustainability.

As well as the $175m (€159m)-per-year cost cap, the regulations will result in a radical overhaul of the look of F1 cars, which will feature simplified front wings, bigger rear wings, increased underbody aerodynamics, wheel wake control devices, simplified suspension and low-profile tyres with 18-inch rims.

Red Bull becomes the first of F1’s ‘Big Three’ teams to formally commit to staying in the sport post-2020, with Mercedes and Ferrari yet to announce their plans.

Honda ended its relationship with McLaren at the end of 2017 and opted to partner with Toro Rosso. It partnered with Red Bull at the start of the 2019 season.

In other news, F1 has announced the launch of its F1 Food Fest ahead of the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix this weekend. The initiative will celebrate cuisines from across the F1 calendar and next year will incorporate national dishes at selected races. F1 will work with race promoters to transform food and beverage areas at fanzones.