Red Bull agree deal to run Honda engine technology until 2025
Red Bull and AlphaTauri will continue to race Honda power units from next season through to the end of 2024 after reaching an agreement to run the Japanese technology despite the manufacturer opting to leave the championship at the end of this season.
Honda have secured five race victories to date in their three-year partnership with the Red Bull family, but last October announced they would leave F1 when their current agreement expired at the end of 2021, leaving Red Bull and AlphaTauri without an engine supplier.
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Following the news, Red Bull entered talks with Honda to find a way to continue using the technology – rather than return to Renault power, with the French manufacturer obliged to supply them under the current rules – and following confirmation last Friday that engine development would be frozen from 2022 onwards, the two agreed a deal.
The four-time world champions have formed a new company – Red Bull Powertrains Limited – to run the project, with the new division operated from Red Bull’s base in Milton Keynes.
The establishment of Red Bull Powertrains Limited is a bold move by Red Bull but it is one we have made after careful and detailed consideration
“We have been discussing this topic with Honda for some time and following the FIA’s decision to freeze power unit development from 2022, we could at last reach an agreement regarding the continued use of Honda’s hybrid power units,” said Red Bull Motorsport Advisor Helmut Marko.
“We are grateful for Honda’s collaboration in this regard and for helping to ensure that both Red Bull Racing and Scuderia AlphaTauri continue to have competitive power units.
"The establishment of Red Bull Powertrains Limited is a bold move by Red Bull but it is one we have made after careful and detailed consideration. We are aware of the huge commitment required but we believe the creation of this new company is the most competitive option for both teams.”
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Red Bull boss Christian Horner added: “This agreement represents a significant step for Red Bull in its Formula 1 journey. We were understandably disappointed when Honda made the decision to leave the sport as an engine manufacturer, as our relationship yielded immediate success, but we are grateful for their support in facilitating this new agreement.
We felt it was the right thing to do to help our two current teams and indeed the sport as a whole
“Honda has invested significantly in hybrid technology to ensure the supply of competitive power units to both teams. We now begin the work of bringing the power unit division in-house and integrating the new facilities and personnel into our Technology Campus. In the meantime, we are fully focused on achieving the best possible results in what will be Honda’s final season as an official power unit supplier.”
Honda, who first returned to F1 in this era with McLaren in 2015, said coming to such an arrangement was “the right thing to do”.
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Honda’s Chief Officer Brand and Communication Operations Koji Watanabe said: “Honda is pleased that, following our decision to leave Formula 1 at the end of 2021, we have been able to reach an agreement for the two Red Bull-owned teams to use our F1 PU technology in F1 after 2021.
“We are fully committed to our goal of Honda being carbon neutral by 2050, which is why we are diverting our F1 resources to this new target. However, as a company that has been involved in Formula 1 for several decades, we felt it was the right thing to do to help our two current teams and indeed the sport as a whole.
“By allowing Red Bull Racing and Scuderia AlphaTauri to use our F1 PU technology it should ensure they can race competitively, which is also good for the sport and the fans.”