Motorsport fans lamenting the loss of Honda from the globetrotting, gas-guzzling Formula One circuit this week may be interested to know there's a very big upside to the Japanese withdrawal.

According to Honda president Takeo Fukui, the company will use knowledge gained in F1 to develop more environmentally friendly cars for ordinary drivers to use.

Knowledge base

Fukui told the Japanese media on Friday that he would transfer 400 Honda engineers from racing to work on new green vehicles. F1 technologies involved will include drive control and better body design for road vehicles.

After spending over ¥50 billion (£370 million) a year on F1, Honda will be eager to recoup as much of that investment as possible. If it does so by popularising cleaner cars for our roads, then so much the better.