|Engine||Honda RA302E, 2991cc V8 naturally aspirated Mid-engined, longitudinally mounted|
|Transmission||Honda 5-speed manual|
|Notable entrants||Honda Racing France|
|Notable drivers||Jo Schlesser|
|Debut||1968 French Grand Prix,
|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 engine. Thus, the magnesium-skinned 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, the 1968 French Grand Prix at Rouen-Les-Essarts, driven by Jo Schlesser. Schlesser was chosen to drive the RA302 because normal Honda driver John Surtees (who was the 1964 world champion) refused to drive it as he deemed it to be unsafe and labelled it as a "potential deathtrap". 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. The magnesium-bodied Honda and 58 laps worth of fuel ignited instantly, killing Schlesser and destroying the original RA302.
A second RA302 was built, with slight modifications, earmarked for Surtees to drive at the next race, but when Surtees again refused to drive it, Honda decided to pull out of Grand Prix racing and did not return as a constructor until the 2006 Formula One season with the Honda RA106. In 2012, the RA302 intended for Surtees at the Italian Grand Prix was on display at the Honda Collection Hall.
Formula One World Championship results
(key) (results in bold indicate pole position; results in italics indicate fastest lap)
|1968||Honda Racing||Honda V8||RSA||ESP||MON||BEL||NED||FRA||GBR||GER||ITA||CAN||USA||MEX||14||6th|
- All 14 points scored by Honda RA301 entries.
- "Honda RA302". ChicaneF1. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
- "Formula One Entry (1964): The Question: Victory or Technology". Honda Motor Co., Ltd. Retrieved 2009-02-11.
- "Honda RA302". F1technical.net. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
- "Tomica Honda RA 302: Review". Live and Let Diecast!. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
- "Honda RA301 - Surtees". tradingpaints. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
- "Honda Collection Hall, HONDA RA302". Retrieved 2 September 2014.
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