Honda Could Leave IndyCar Over Rising Costs: ‘We Have Great Concern’

If Honda leaves IndyCar,it would be the end of a 30-year relationship.

byNico DeMattia|

Honda has been supplying IndyCar with engines for 30 years, having started in 1993. But that long-running relationship could come to an end after 2026, as Honda is growing concerned over its return on investment, or lack thereof.

“We have great concerns over the costs,” Chuck Schifsky, American Honda Motorsports Manager, told Racer in a recent interview.

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At the moment, Honda is one of only two IndyCar engine makers, supplying more than half of all IndyCars with powerplants. Chevy supplies the rest. Each IndyCar race has 16-18 Honda twin-turbo V6s running and the cost is beginning to outweigh the return. While Schifsky isn't saying that Honda is definitely pulling out after its contract ends in 2026, he also says not to discount the possibility just because of Honda's longstanding relationship with the sport.

There isn't one perfect solution to this situation. However, Schifsky suggests changes to engine regulations to potentially save Honda tens of millions of dollars, which would make its return on investment more worthwhile. Another way to help Honda is to bring in a third engine supplier, which would then allow Honda to reduce the number of cars it powers, thus saving it more money. That would help Chevy out, too.

However, Schifsky told Racer that if Honda and IndyCar can't figure out a way to reduce their costs, "then it’s too much money, and we will go do something else. That something else could be NASCAR or a further investment in our Formula 1 effort. Or something that isn’t motorsports at all.”

While a third engine supplier would help keep Honda around, that might not be possible until IndyCar switches to hybrid engines in 2024. That doesn't leave much time for IndyCar to get a deal done, though, either with Honda or a third engine supplier. Seeing Honda leave IndyCar would be shocking, and I'm not sure how fans would react, especially if it went to NASCAR or increased its F1 involvement. Hopefully, both parties can work something out to keep Honda in Indycar and the 30-year relationship alive.

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