Tokyo: Honda Motor Co. will conclude its participation in the Formula One World Championship at the end of the 2021 season as the pandemic dents car sales and the auto industry undergoes a seismic shift toward electric vehicles. The Japanese automaker supplies engines to Red Bull Racing and Scuderia AlphaTauri.

It bowed out of world’s most-prestigious automobile racing series once before, in the wake of the 2008 global financial crisis, but resumed competition in 2015 with the goal to win using its own energy management technologies. “As the automobile industry undergoes a once-in-one-hundred-years period of great transformation, Honda has decided to strive for the realization of carbon neutrality by 2050,” it said in a statement Friday.

See More

“Toward this end, Honda needs to funnel its corporate resources in research and development into the areas of future power unit and energy technologies, including fuel cell vehicle and battery EV technologies.”

Like its peers around the globe, Honda has been hard hit by the pandemic that shuttered showrooms and production sites. The company posted a loss for the fiscal first quarter through June, and predicted full-year earnings that trailed analysts’ estimates.

Honda became involved in Formula One more than half a century ago, and has competed as an entrant, constructor and engine supplier, scoring multiple championships in the most watched motor-sport competition on the planet.