It’s been in talks for quite long, but finally Red Bull and Honda have announced that they will link up for next two seasons and just ahead of the upcoming French Grand Prix.
Red Bull has decided to split up with their current partners Renaults and will use Honda engines for the next two years.
This is the end of a long term partnership between Red Bull and Renaults. They have been together since 12 years, even won the title 4 times in a sequence, from 2010 to 2013.
The cause of this break-up is the low grade engine quality. Ever since the Turbo-charged Hybrid Engines were introduced in the Formula 1 in 2014, Renaults has always been behind Mercedes and Ferrari. Although, the team will still race under the name Aston Martin Red Bull Racing.
But what about Honda? Are they more competitive and faster than Renaults? Red Bull certainly thinks so.
The decision came after a series of discussions over several weeks and now Red Bull and Honda will join forces from 2019-2020. Hopefully, it will sort out the current engine problems that they are facing.
Team principal Christian Horner said: “This multi-year agreement with Honda signals the start of an exciting new phase in 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.”
As part of the deal, Honda will supply for both Red Bull teams from next season but they will start to supply for the junior team Toro Rosso this season.
Honda is building a factory in UK in Milton Keynes for many years now and they will have the capability to supply to both Red Bull and Toro Rosso from 2019 onwards.
Honda president Takahiro Hachigo said: “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.”
Honda could be a probable long term bet for Red Bull. Nine months ago, a bigger company Mc Laren decided to end their partnership with Honda thinking that Japanese engines are slowing them down.
This is also a risk for both sides as Red Bull wants to win and switching to a manufacturer that is rated below then what they were already using could haunt them later.
For Honda keeping up with the expectations of the Red Bull will be a Big Challenge. Red Bull is said to be tough on their suppliers so meeting their expectations will be a challenge.
This partnership also makes a lot of sense, after consistent failures of Renaults, they were looking for a new potential manufacturers which they found in Honda.
Honda must be desperate to show Mc Laren that the break-up was a wrong move. Honda has a lot to gain from this partnership.
They have shown this season that they can be highly reliable and under the better conditions can deliver consistently improvised performances.
Red Bull will be the main focus of Honda, they can now work for two teams working under same terms and conditions which makes things easier. Meanwhile, Renaults was treating Red Bull as just another client.
It may work out and it may not but if it does, both these companies will grow exponentially and will write their names in history.