Red Bull Racing has officially announced that Honda will be their engine supplier from the 2019 season. This ends the 12-year partnership between Red Bull and Renault that saw the team winning four constructors’ and drivers’ titles (2010-2013). Honda is the engine supplier of Toro Rosso, the junior Red Bull team, this season.
Red Bull Racing Announces Honda Formula 1 Engine Deal
Renault and the Red Bull partnership has been troubled since the new 1.6L V6 Hybrid engine era started in 2014. The Renault engines were clearly lagging behind in performance and reliability to the Mercedes and Ferrari engines.
This led to much acrimony by the end of the 2015 season which was narrowly averted. The Renault engines have improved, but they are still not in the league of the Ferrari and Mercedes engines. The Milton-Keynes based team has secured 10 wins in the hybrid era so far. In 2018, the team has felt their chassis is second to none, but they have been held back by the Renault engines in their quest to win titles.
Red Bull Announces Partnership With Honda
— Red Bull Racing (@redbullracing) June 19, 2018
Christian Horner, Red Bull Team Principal, officially announced the engine deal with Honda from 2019. Horner said:“This multi-year agreement with Honda signals the start of an exciting new phase in Aston Martin Red Bull Racing’s efforts to compete not just for grand prix wins but for what is always our goal: championship titles.
“We have always taken decisions such as this dispassionately and with only one criteria in mind: 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.
“We look forward to working with Honda in the coming years and to racing together in pursuit of F1’s biggest prizes.”
Honda Sets Target as Red Bull Engine Supplier
Honda returned to F1 as an engine supplier in 2015. The three-year partnership with McLaren was a troubled one and ended in a bitter parting of ways in 2017. Renault replaced Honda as McLaren’s engine supplier in 2018. Honda then became the engine supplier for Toro Rosso in 2018. The Japanese manufacturer will continue to supply the Red Bull sister team.
Masashi Yamamoto, Honda F1 head, said:“Red Bull is one of the top teams. It has won several championships and this year too it has already won some races. It is also obvious that they have a very good chassis and this means we’ll have better chances of winning races.
“This gives further motivation to all the members of Honda, but at the same time, it is a huge pressure and responsibility for us. However, it is Honda’s nature to always aspire to a very high target, and I think that’s what makes Honda, Honda.
“As a starting point, we do not want to see Red Bull Racing’s performance drop below its current level. But our target is to go further and do better than they are doing at the “We will have to live up to their high expectations, but can see their respect for us. We will put everything we have into the development for next season.”
Huge Decision For Both Red Bull And Honda
Honda has not had much success since its return to F1 in 2015. The best result has been a fourth-place with Toro Rosso this year. Wins and podiums promised during their partnership with McLaren never materialized. It is a huge challenge for the Japanese manufacturer to meet the expectations of Red Bull in 2019.
Red Bull has two wins after seven races so far this season. The car has been very competitive with the two top teams, Mercedes and Ferrari. The switch to Honda is a big risk. It is not based on a proven track record, but on future potential.
Daniel Ricciardo’s contract as a Red Bull driver ends in 2018. Many F1 experts felt that Ricciardo was waiting for Red Bull’s engine decision before making his decision to re-sign. It remains to be seen if he is willing to commit to Red Bull after this Honda partnership has been announced from 2019. Red Bull will be hoping to retain his services and also return to championship-winning ways in the future.
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