Red Bull will leave Renault at the end of the season to establish a works partnership with Honda from the 2019 season onwards.
Having first become a Renault customer in 2007, Red Bull enjoyed huge success with the French manufacturer towards the end of the V8 era, winning four consecutive drivers’ and constructors’ championship doubles between 2010 and 2013. However the relationship has become increasingly strained since the introduction of the current V6 power units, with Red Bull having won only 10 races since the start of 2014.
Following Toro Rosso’s switch to Honda for this season, which has yielded encouraging results for the Japanese manufacturer following the end of its partnership with McLaren, Red Bull will make the same change for 2019 and 2020.
“We’ll supply the same specification PU to both Red Bull and Toro Rosso,” Honda’s general manager of the motor sports division, Masashi Yamamoto, said. “From a manufacturer’s point of view, it doesn’t make sense to identify either team as either works or customer, as current regulations oblige us to supply the same power unit to all our teams.
“In that sense, this contract puts the three parties into an equal position. Just as was the case with Toro Rosso, we felt a sincere respect from Red Bull throughout the conversation that led to this contract. We appreciate them showing us such an attitude, even after seeing our difficult time over the previous three years in F1.
“The biggest pleasure I felt in the conversation is that they were focusing so much on winning and the core of the topic was always ‘How we can win together?’. This is also the case with Toro Rosso and both of them are real racing teams.
“Though we are not going into further details of the contract than shown in the press release, I should say the condition is very fair for both parties. We feel that we will have to live up to their high expectations, but can see their respect for us, and we will put everything we have into the development for next season.