Honda has agreed to supply Red Bull Racing with Formula One engines from 2019. The two-year deal will see Red Bull switch from its current supply of Renault engines.
Red Bull Scuderia Toro Rosso (pictured above) will also continue to use Honda F1 engines, meaning the Japanese automaker will supply two teams – each using identical-specification Honda Power Units.
“This partnership with Honda signals a new era for Red Bull Group in Formula One with both the Toro Rosso and Red Bull Racing teams benefitting from common supply co-ordinated through Red Bull Technology,” said Red Bull motorsport adviser Dr. Helmut Marko.
“We have been extremely impressed by Honda’s commitment and progress and share like-minded ambitions to compete for Championships.”
Honda Motor Co. Ltd president and representative director Takahiro Hachigo revealed that discussions around the deal proceeded quickly, “thanks to Red Bull’s open and respectful attitude towards Honda, leading to a deal that is fair and equitable for all parties.
“Having two teams means we can access twice as much data as previously. We believe that working with both Toro Rosso and Red Bull Racing will allow us to get closer to our goal of winning races and Championships, building two strong partnerships.”
Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner says the decision was taken dispassionately, and with one sole criteria: “do we believe the outcome will allow us to compete at a higher level.
“After careful consideration and evaluation we are certain this partnership with Honda is the right direction for the team. We have been impressed by Honda’s commitment to F1, by the rapid steps they have made in recent times with our sister team Scuderia Toro Rosso, and by the scope of their ambition, which matches our own.”
Honda suffered a tumultuous return to F1 in partnership with McLaren, and the two agreed to part last year. This year, McLaren is using the same Renault engines as Red Bull, but it’s the performance of the Honda-powered Toro Rosso team that has impressed many in the sport.
Red Bull, which has already won this year with Renault engines, clearly seen enough to convince itself that championships with Honda are a realistic possibility.
It’s going to be a fascinating few years in the sport…