The car was an update of the previous season's RA300, using the same RA273E engine. As Honda was also focused on developing the air-cooled RA302, the RA301's development suffered and Surtees only managed a best of second place in the France. Poor reliability saw him managing to finish just two other races.
The car was planned to be replaced by the RA302 at the 1968 French Grand Prix, but Surtees refused to drive the new car because of safety concerns. After the death of Jo Schlesser at that race, Surtees again refused to drive the RA302 at the 1968 Italian Grand Prix, and the RA301 was used until the end of the season.