LONDON: The Aston Martin Red Bull Racing Team will be replacing Renault with Honda as their official power units supplier from from 2019 to 2021. This extends the partnership between Red Bull and Honda, as the latter is serving the former’s sister team Scuderia Toro Rosso in the same capacity at present.
The two Red Bull-owned teams will run identical specification Honda Power Units. According to the official Formula 1 website, Honda have reportedly been building up their UK facility in Milton Keynes to house a second operation for several years now and therefore have the capability to supply both the teams.
Through this deal, Honda will be supplying more than one team since the Japanese automobile manufacturer returned to F1 in 2015 with McLaren.
The term of the Honda contract implies that Renault will have plenty of time to test Honda’s abilities, which should help them choose amongst suppliers when the engine regulations change in 2021. This can help in cutting costs and welcoming more manufacturers into the sport.
The deal also means that Red Bull will end its 12-year association with Renault, which resulted in 57 victories, four drivers’ and four constructors’ championships.
However, according to an ESPN report, Red Bull had tried to end its deal with Renault two years ago, which didn’t work out when it approached Mercedes about its power units supply resulting in the team’s performance being affected vis a vis a team like Ferrari.
“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. We have been extremely impressed by Honda’s commitment and progress and share like minded ambitions to compete for Championships. With this integrated approach between the companies we very much look forward to working with Honda.”,Dr. Helmut Marko, Red Bull Motorsport Advisor was quoted as saying to Honda’s official website.
Christian Horner, Aston Martin Red Bull Racing team principal believes that Honda’s progress will help the team go a long way in winning championships.
“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,” Horner said.
Takahiro Hachigo, president and representative director of Honda Motor Co., Ltd. commented on the deal.
“Having established a good relationship with Scuderia Toro Rosso, we have decided to extend our Formula One involvement to the other team in the Red Bull family, Aston Martin Red Bull Racing, as from the 2019 season. 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. Discussions proceeded very quickly, thanks to Red Bull’s open and respectful attitude towards Honda, leading to a deal that is fair and equitable for all parties,” Hachigo said.
On the announcement of the deal, Renault thanked Red Bull for their long partnership and expects to focus more strongly on their own team and McLaren’s success.
"Two years after Renault’s return as a works team, we consider this is a natural evolution for both Renault and Red Bull Racing in view of their respective aspirations," Renault’s spokesperson was quoted as saying on Formula1.com.
"In an extremely demanding and competitive environment we are proud of the extraordinary results achieved with Red Bull Racing over the past 12 seasons.
"After two seasons, we are fully focused on the strong progression of Renault Sport Formula One Team, while continuing to foster the fresh relationship with McLaren Racing," he noted.