It's been one of the most successful partnerships in F1 history, but as Red Bull move into the final four Grands Prix of their 12-year relationship with engine supplier Renault, the team are looking forward, not back. And Christian Horner says the team are encouraged by the early signs of what lies ahead with new power unit partner Honda…
In the five seasons since the V6 turbo hybrid power units were introduced, Red Bull - who captured four drivers' and constructors' championships on the bounce under the previous regulations - have won 11 races but failed to mount a serious title challenge at any stage.
Next year they will embark on a new era with Honda, following on from the Japanese manufacturer supplying Red Bull’s junior team Toro Rosso this season - and Red Bull chief Horner likes what he has seen.
“We’ve been very impressed with the progress that Honda have been making during the course of this year,” said Horner. “Obviously, we’re now working closely regarding incorporating the engine into RB15 for next year. I have to say the communication has been excellent between both companies.
“We’re hugely impressed by the effort, commitment, desire, determination to succeed that there is in Honda.”
A recent update to the Honda power unit – debuted in Russian Grand Prix Friday practice but raced for the first time in Japan - led Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost to claim they have moved ahead of Renault in terms of performance.