There’ll be a special look to the Red Bull cars at this weekend’s Turkish Grand Prix, with Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez set to sport tribute liveries to departing power unit supplier Honda...
Honda announced towards the end of 2020 that the 2021 season would be their last in Formula 1, having returned to the sport to power McLaren back in 2015. They first supplied AlphaTauri – back in their Toro Rosso days – in 2018, before supplying both Red Bull teams from 2019 onwards.
The partnership has netted 14 victories in total to date, including Pierre Gasly’s memorable triumph at the 2020 Italian Grand Prix for AlphaTauri, and has powered Max Verstappen into title contention this season.
Red Bull’s livery takes inspiration from Richie Ginther’s 1965 Mexican Grand Prix-winning Honda RA272, while the AlphaTauris will feature the Japanese script for arigato – thank you – on their rear wings.
Check out the livery that the Red Bull RB16B will wear at this weekend’s Turkish Grand Prix in the carousel above, with the race set to run on the date originally slated for Honda’s home Grand Prix at Suzuka before the event was forced to be cancelled.
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Team boss Christian Horner said: “We had all been looking forward to giving Honda’s Japanese fans a chance to celebrate our extremely successful relationship in Formula 1, on home soil at Suzuka.
"With the race falling victim to the pandemic, we just couldn’t let the weekend pass without paying tribute to Honda and its amazing home fans by bringing a little bit of its heritage to Istanbul.
"The livery chosen for our cars pays homage to Honda’s remarkable F1 journey and hopefully we can give fans another victory in those legendary colours this weekend.”
Koji Watanabe, Chief Officer for Brand and Communication Operations at Honda added: “Everyone at Honda is extremely disappointed that the Japanese Grand Prix has had to be cancelled, while fully understanding and agreeing with the reasons behind this decision.
"We were especially keen to race at Suzuka Circuit, as it is our last year in the sport, at a time when both our teams are performing very well. We also appreciate that the Japanese fans were particularly looking forward to seeing Honda’s last appearance here and Yuki Tsunoda driving in his home race.
"We know that a special livery cannot replace what would have been a very exciting weekend, but we hope that Honda fans around the world, especially those in Japan, will accept this special livery as a small token of our appreciation of their continued support over so many years.”