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Honda Formula E Entry Unlikely

Honda looks unlikely to enter Formula E in the near future despite talks with a team…

Photo: HPD

The prospect of Honda getting involved in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship in the near future appears to be unlikely despite recent discussions with a current Formula E team.

The Japanese manufacturer looked at the championship in 2015 when Aguri Suzuki, then a team owner of Amlin Aguri, lobbied the manufacturer to enter the all-electric championship as a factory concern.

When that came to nothing, Suzuki sold his team to Chinese Media Capital, who in turn formed Techeetah which morphed into DS Techeetah for the present season.

Since that time, Honda has entered Formula 1, first with McLaren and later with Toro Rosso and Red Bull Racing as an engine supplier.

Now, several key e-racing365 sources have indicated that discussions between Honda, through its American racing arm Honda Performance Development, and GEOX Dragon have taken place in recent months.

Although details of the talks are unknown, it is believed that the possibility of a long-term alliance between the two parties was at least explored.

However, any program outside of North America would need the full approval and backing of Honda Motor Company in Japan, which is unlikely until it starts winning F1 races on a consistent basis again.

Honda’s last F1 win came at the Hungarian Grand Prix in 2006 when Jenson Button won for Lucky Strike Honda Racing.

Last month’s Geneva International Motor Show saw the world debut of the production version of Honda’s all-electric Urban EV model.

HPD Has EV Motorsport Interest

HPD has contributed several high profile motorsport programs for Honda in the past, including the current Acura ARX-05 DPi that Team Penske runs in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

Ted Klaus, HPD’s recently-appointed President, told e-racing365 that the California-based company is interested in electric racing technology but was at present still in an evaluation period.

“If we want to consider being relevant for the future, we have to do things that are both feasible but push the envelope,” said Klaus when asked directly about Formula E.

“Quite frankly the reality is that the energy that you get from even a crazy push the envelope battery pack is just not yet feasible.

“So, are we still interested for when that might come to be? Yes. But why wait? Again, electrification takes many forms.

“Then the broader envelope is how can we race in a way that moves the needle towards a carbon sustainable society. Not only in the battery or fuel, there are other elements.”

GEOX Dragon is set to run as a manufacturer under Penske in Formula E next season.

Sam Smith is e-racing365's Formula E Editor. A 20-year veteran in motorsports media, including press officer roles in both the FIA Sportscar Championship and at Lola Group, Smith is a well-known face in the Formula E paddock, where he served as series editor for Motorsport.com from 2014-17. Contact Sam

1 Comment

1 Comment

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    Kris G.

    April 25, 2019 at 12:37 pm

    Honda is so late in the electrification game that even for them to consider their options will take time to form a decision. True is that the brand is only surviving independently because it’s strong in the second biggest market, US, because if it was because Europe, China or emergent ones it would have already associated with another group to guarantee its existence.

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