Honda will leave F1 at the end of the 2021 season and was due to enjoy its last home grand prix in Japan this weekend before it was canceled and replaced with a race at Istanbul Park in Turkey.
To pay tribute and thank Honda ahead of his departure from F1, Red Bull announced on Thursday that he and sister team AlphaTauri will race in special liveries in Turkey.
Red Bull cars will race in a predominantly white livery inspired by the Honda RA 272 car, which became the first Japanese car to win in F1 when Richie Ginther claimed victory at the 1965 Mexican Grand Prix.
The team released a teaser video of the livery, which retains the Red Bull branding in a striking red color on a white base.
AlphaTauri will feature the word “arigato” – which means “thank you” – in Japanese script on the rear fenders of its cars in Turkey.
“We were all looking forward to giving the Japanese Honda fans a chance to celebrate our extremely fruitful relationship in Formula 1, on our home soil at Suzuka,” said Christian Horner, Red Bull F1 boss.
“With the race a victim of the pandemic, we just couldn’t let the weekend go by without paying tribute to Honda and its incredible home fans by bringing a bit of its heritage to Istanbul.
“The livery chosen for our cars pays tribute to Honda’s remarkable track record in F1 and I hope we can give the fans another victory in these legendary colors this weekend.”
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B
Photo By: Zak Mauger / Motorsport images
Red Bull driver Max Verstappen will aim to regain the lead in the Drivers’ Championship this weekend, after dropping two points behind Mercedes rival Lewis Hamilton in Russia.
Honda have won eight wins this season with Red Bull, seven thanks to Verstappen and one via teammate Sergio Perez.
“Everyone at Honda is extremely disappointed that the Japanese Grand Prix had to be canceled, while fully understanding and accepting the reasons for this decision,” said “Koji Watanabe, Director of Brand Operations and Communications at Honda .
“We were especially keen on racing at the Suzuka circuit as this is our last year in the sport, at a time when both of our teams are performing very well. We also like the fact that Japanese fans were especially eager to see Honda’s latest appearance here and Yuki Tsunoda driving his home race.
“We know that a special livery cannot replace what would have been a very exciting weekend, but we hope that Honda fans around the world, especially those in Japan, will accept this special livery as a small token of our appreciation for their continued support over so many years. “