Red Bull strikes deal to keep using Honda engines until 2025
Honda announced at the beginning of October that it would be ending its involvement in F1 at the end of the 2021 season, but was open to allowing Red Bull to continue to run its power units beyond this date.
It prompted Red Bull to seek a freeze on engine development that would allow it to continue to use Honda power units without needing to fund their costly development, and avoid having to become a customer team with another manufacturer.
The F1 Commission unanimously agreed to the engine freeze covering 2022-2024 last week, paving the way for Red Bull to acquire the IP to Honda’s power units and keep using them through this period.
Red Bull announced on Monday that it had struck an agreement with Honda to do so, ensuring both the senior squad and sister team AlphaTauri will run the engines until the next generation of power units arrive in 2025.
A new company called Red Bull Powertrains Limited has been formed to run the project, and will be run out of Red Bull’s main base in Milton Keynes.
“We have been discussing this topic with Honda for some time and following the FIA’s decision to freeze power unit development from 2022, we could at last reach an agreement regarding the continued use of Honda’s hybrid power units,” said Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko.
“We are grateful for Honda’s collaboration in this regard and for helping to ensure that both Red Bull Racing and Scuderia AlphaTauri continue to have competitive power units.
“The establishment of Red Bull Powertrains Limited is a bold move by Red Bull but it is one we have made after careful and detailed consideration.
“We are aware of the huge commitment required but we believe the creation of this new company is the most competitive option for both teams.”
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The decision to form its own powertrain division also creates the possibility that Red Bull could create its own F1 power unit from the next rule cycle in 2025, something Marko has previously said is an option.
Red Bull team boss Christian Horner called the announcement “a significant step for Red Bull in its F1 journey.”
“We were understandably disappointed when Honda made the decision to leave the sport as an engine manufacturer, as our relationship yielded immediate success, but we are grateful for their support in facilitating this new agreement,” said Horner.
“Honda has invested significantly in hybrid technology to ensure the supply of competitive power units to both teams. We now begin the work of bringing the power unit division in-house and integrating the new facilities and personnel into our Technology Campus.
“In the meantime, we are fully focused on achieving the best possible results in what will be Honda’s final season as an official power unit supplier.”