Honda RA302

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Honda RA302
Honda RA302 front view Honda Collection Hall.jpg
Auto racing Formula One
Constructor Honda R&D
Automotive design Yoshio Nakamura,
Shoichi Sano
Technical Specifications
Chassis Magnesium-skinned Monocoque
Suspension (front) double-wishbone
Suspension (rear) double-wishbone
Internal combustion engine Honda RA302E, 2991Cubic centimetre V12 Naturally aspirated Mid-engine, Longitudinal engine
Transmission (mechanics) Honda 5-speed Manual transmission
Fuel BP/Royal Dutch Shell
Tire Firestone International
Competition History
Notable entrants Honda Racing France
Notable drivers Jo Schlesser
Debut 1968 French Grand Prix,
 Races   Wins    Pole position     Fastest lap   
1 0 0 0
Constructors' Championships 0
Drivers' Championships 0
n.b. Unless otherwise stated, all data refer to
Formula One World Championship Grands Prix only.

The Honda RA302 was a Formula One Racing car produced by Honda Racing, and introduced by Honda Racing France during the 1968 Formula One season. The car was built based on the order by Soichiro Honda to develop an air-cooled Formula One engines.[1] Thus, the car was forcibly entered in the Formula One race alongside the water-cooled Honda RA301, had developed by existing Honda team and British Lola Racing Cars.

It would only appear in one race, in the 1968 French Grand Prix at Rouen-Les-Essarts, driven by Jo Schlesser. Schlesser was chosen to drive it, because normal Honda driver and 1964 Formula One season world champion John Surtees refused to drive the RA302 as he deemed it to be unsafe and labelled it as a "potential deathtrap". This was proven on lap 3 of the Grand Prix, as Schlesser crashed at the Virage des Six Fréres section of the circuit, with the car coming to rest sideways against a bank. The magnesium-bodied Honda and 58 laps worth of fuel ignited instantly, leaving Schlesser no chance of survival.

A second RA302 was built, earmarked for Surtees to drive at the 1968 Italian Grand Prix and as Surtees refused to drive the car again, Honda pulled out of Grand Prix racing and would not return as a constructor until the 2006 Formula One season and the Honda RA106.


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