Red Bull Racing and Scuderia AlphaTauri will race in the Turkish Grand Prix with special Honda liveries on what should have been the Japanese manufacturer's home race weekend.
The Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka was sadly cancelled due to Covid and replaced by a round of racing at Istanbul Park.
While Honda's home fans won't get to witness a final performance on home ground, Red Bull has whipped up special liveries for both its teams to celebrate its winning alliance with its engine partner.
Red Bull has revealed that the RB16B cars of Max Verstappen and team-mate Sergio Perez will feature a predominantly white livery inspired by the legendary Honda RA 272 car, in which US racer Richie Ginther secured the company’s maiden Formula 1 win at the 1965 Mexican Grand Prix.
As for AlphaTauri, the rear wings of the AT02 cars driven by Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda will feature the one-word message ありがとう (arigato,) meaning "thank you" in Japanese.
"We had all been looking forward to giving Honda’s Japanese fans a chance to celebrate our extremely successful relationship in Formula One, on home soil at Suzuka," said red Bull team boss Christian Horner.
"With the race falling victim to the pandemic, we just couldn’t let the weekend pass without paying tribute to Honda and its amazing home fans by bringing a little bit of its heritage to Istanbul.
"The livery chosen for our cars pays homage to Honda’s remarkable F1 journey and hopefully we can give fans another victory in those legendary colours this weekend."
Since the activation of its partnership with Honda in 2018, Red Bull has delivered 13 wins to engine supplier while AlphaTauri added Pierre Gasly's memorable triumph at Monza in 2020 to the manufacturer's track record.
"Everyone at Honda is extremely disappointed that the Japanese Grand Prix has had to be cancelled, while fully understanding and agreeing with the reasons behind this decision," commented Koji Watanabe, Chief Officer for Brand and Communication Operations at Honda.
"We were especially keen to race at Suzuka Circuit, as it is our last year in the sport, at a time when both our teams are performing very well.
"We also appreciate that the Japanese fans were particularly looking forward to seeing Honda’s last appearance here and Yuki Tsunoda driving in 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 of their continued support over so many years."