This is it. The last dance. 7 seasons, 142 races, many tears and even more memories later, our last Formula 1 race is upon us.
Our Last Dance.
This weekend in Abu Dhabi will see the Drivers' Championship and Constructor's Championship decided in a dramatic duel in the desert between Red Bull Racing Honda and Mercedes. Whatever happens, there really is nothing else to say other than, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you for making these years so special. This one’s for you.
Honda Racing F1
We now come to the final race of the season, at its usual venue in Abu Dhabi. Although we know the Yas Marina circuit well, the track layout has been changed since last year and several corners have been modified. The track is now slightly shorter with a group of 90 degree corners replaced by one high speed banked turn at the end of the back straight. Other corners have also been made quicker and there is no chicane now before the hairpin that leads onto the back straight. The idea is to create more overtaking opportunities and one other result of this is that it will have an effect on our PU energy management. Over the weekend, we will maximise PU performance using data from past races and our simulation for the new layout, as well as the track data we acquire from Friday practice. Needless to say, this is also the last race of this Honda F1 project, our last time racing with Scuderia AlphaTauri and Red Bull Racing who have both been incredible partners and great to work with. In addition we will be fighting hard for the championships, with Max and Lewis equal on points. We will keep pushing to the very end. We have put up a really strong fight so far and had some great battles in this year’s races. All Honda staff involved in this project are absolutely determined to win and in order to do this we will be pushing as hard as we can. We have enjoyed strong support from our fans throughout our time in Formula 1 and I hope they will be with us all the way to the chequered flag this Sunday.
Honda Racing F1
Finally, we have come to the last race of the season here in Abu Dhabi. It's an important moment and not just on the track, because this weekend marks the culmination of Honda F1’s latest seven year stint in Formula 1. It is therefore with mixed emotions of sadness and happiness and many memories, both good and bad that I look forward to this last weekend. However, it’s also true that the championships are not yet decided and, along with Red Bull Racing, we are fighting hard against Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton for both titles, therefore even if our time in this sport is coming to an end, our commitment to performing at our best this weekend is as strong as always. Honda returned to Formula 1 in 2015 and the project did not always go smoothly, with many highs and lows and it was very tough, especially in the beginning. When I think back to those early days, I am very proud that today we are going into the last race of our final year, about to fight for the championship. Winning the titles has been our dream and we have progressed towards it step by step. Now, that dream is almost within our grasp, but I honestly do not know if we will be smiling or crying after Sunday’s race. All our team members will go into this weekend, alongside our colleagues at Red Bull Racing and Scuderia AlphaTauri, ready to show Honda’s challenging spirit. We will be following our dreams all the way to the chequered flag, dreams we share with our fans who have supported us through the bad times as well as the good and we know they will be with us as we chase this dream to the very end and we thank them for that.
A last word from the drivers [ ........... ]