News of Honda’s plan to bow out of Formula 1 sent shock waves down the Red Bull group’s spine. They had envisaged the Japanese maker exiting sometime, but not this early.
It has now left Red Bull in a situation where any decision that is taken impacts the long-term future of the team. And when it is a talk of power units, these are waters that need to be navigated carefully.
But, despite Honda’s potential exit from the sport, they are keeping an open mind as far as supporting the Red Bull teams is concerned. After all, they achieved more success with the group than they did during their time with McLaren.
Red Bull will get help from Honda if they need it
A possible option that has been talked up in recent times is Red Bull using re-badged versions of their existing engines. It could supposedly involve an intellectual property deal for Honda power units.
And then Red Bull’s Milton Keynes base can oversee an engine continuation program. Of course, if Red Bull cannot do it alone, then they would have to involve an independent partner to offer additional technical support if need be.
Speaking in an interview with The Race, Honda F1 Managing Director Masashi Yamamoto stated, “Honda is happy to talk to them if they need us in any way. Not only about the power unit, but about other things as well.
“To support AlphaTauri and Red Bull for their programme after 2021 in any way, we’re happy to cooperate. As Honda we had so many things from the teams, so we want to give it back somehow in a nice way for the future.”
Honda has achieved decent success in the last two seasons
The Japanese maker’s exit is not just a loss to the teams, but the sport as well. Red Bull were confident they could get back to the top with Honda. Especially after how relations had soured with Renault over the years.
But as it stands, the Austrian-licensed outfit are staring at yet another ‘awkward reunion’ with Renault. That is, of course, if no discussions with another supplier properly materialize.
Honda have enjoyed a successful relationship with the Red Bull group. They have won 5 races and clinched 10 podium finishes in their three years with both teams. And before their departure in 2021, they would surely want to win more and go out on a high.