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Honda Confirms Long-Term IndyCar Plans After Withdrawing From Formula One

Illustration for article titled Honda Confirms Long-Term IndyCar Plans After Withdrawing From Formula One
Photo: Joe Skibinski \ IndyCar Media

While IndyCar noted its commitment to hybrid power earlier in the year, the series has reconfirmed its plans this weekend, this time with more detail and a few amendments.

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Due to the coronavirus pandemic, IndyCar has postponed the introduction of this new engine package from 2022 to 2023, but the series has confirmed that both of its current manufacturers—Honda and Chevrolet—have signed on for long-term deals that should last “well into the end of the decade.”

The new engine will be a 2.4-liter twin-turbocharged V6 with hybrid technology that should produce somewhere between 900-1000 horsepower.

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Honestly, the best part of this whole situation is that the cars themselves will have a self-starter, which means drivers can start the car from inside the cockpit. We’ve seen this problem come into play in the 2020 season. Drivers have accidentally shut off the car trying to exit their pit box, thus requiring someone from the team to use the outside starter to get the car running again. It’s also a hell of a lot safer for a driver to restart his car and move it out of the way after a crash than it is to just sit there and wait for a tow.

But the biggest news is the fact that Honda has reconfirmed its interest in IndyCar just days after withdrawing from Formula One. IndyCar admittedly trails a little behind F1 in terms of technology, but that’s largely because IndyCar aims to make the series affordable. That could be a big reason why Honda has opted to provide engines for IndyCar as opposed to F1. But we honestly just don’t know for sure.

Ted Klaus, president of Honda Performance Development, said the following:

Honda welcomes this step to the future by Indycar, action that mirrors Honda’s efforts to develop and manufacture high-performance, electrified products that will meet industry challenges and delight our customers. At Honda, we race to develop our people, to innovate technologies and to engage fans. We are proud of our uninterrupted, 27-year leadership in indyCar, and look forward to delivering a next-generation Honda 2.4-liter hybrid power unit with more than 900 horsepower.

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Whatever the case, I think IndyCar president Jay Frye has it right when he says the goal is to be “fast, loud, and authentic.”

Weekends at Jalopnik. Managing editor at A Girl's Guide to Cars. Lead IndyCar writer and assistant editor at Frontstretch. Novelist. Motorsport fanatic.

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DISCUSSION

Hondas market share in Europe is well below 1%, possibly even below 0.5%, so there we have the real reason why they left F1.