Honda RA302

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Honda RA302
Honda RA302 left Honda Collection Hall.jpg
Category Formula One
Constructor Honda R&D
Designer(s) Yoshio Nakamura,
Shoichi Sano
Technical specifications
Chassis Magnesium-skinned monocoque
Suspension (front) double-wishbone
Suspension (rear) double-wishbone
Engine Honda RA302E, 2991cc V8 naturally aspirated Mid-engined, longitudinally mounted
Transmission Honda 5-speed manual
Fuel BP/Shell
Tyres Firestone
Competition history
Notable entrants Honda Racing France
Notable drivers France Jo Schlesser
Debut 1968 French Grand Prix,
Races Wins Poles F.Laps
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[1] during the 1968 Formula One season.[1] The car was built based on the order by Soichiro Honda to develop an air-cooled Formula One engine.[2] Thus, the car was forcibly entered in the Formula One race alongside the water-cooled, aluminum-bodied RA301 which had been developed by the existing Honda team and British Lola Cars.

It would only appear in one race,[3] the 1968 French Grand Prix at Rouen-Les-Essarts,[3] driven by Jo Schlesser.[3] Schlesser was chosen to drive the RA302 because normal Honda driver John Surtees (who was the 1964 world champion) refused to drive it[3] as he deemed it to be unsafe and labelled it as a "potential deathtrap".[4] This was proven on lap two of the Grand Prix; Schlesser crashed at the Virage des Six Frères section of the circuit and the car came to rest sideways against a bank.[4] The magnesium-bodied Honda and 58 laps worth of fuel ignited instantly, killing Schlesser[3] and destroying the original RA302.[4]

A second RA302 was built,[3] with slight modifications, earmarked for Surtees to drive at the next race,[3] but when Surtees again refused to drive it,[3] Honda decided to pull out of Grand Prix racing[3] and did not return as a constructor until the 2006 Formula One season with the Honda RA106.[5] In 2012, the RA302 intended for Surtees at the Italian Grand Prix was on display at the Honda Collection Hall.[6]

The magnesium-bodied Honda RA302 of Jo Schlesser crashes and burns during the 1968 French Grand Prix. Schlesser was killed.


  1. ^ a b "Honda RA302". ChicaneF1. Retrieved 2 September 2014. 
  2. ^ "Formula One Entry (1964): The Question: Victory or Technology". Honda Motor Co., Ltd. Retrieved 2009-02-11. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Honda RA302". Retrieved 2 September 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c "Tomica Honda RA 302: Review". Live and Let Diecast!. Retrieved 2 September 2014. 
  5. ^ "Honda RA301 - Surtees". tradingpaints. Retrieved 2 September 2014. 
  6. ^ "Honda Collection Hall, HONDA RA302". Retrieved 2 September 2014. 

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