Red Bull has reached an agreement with Honda to use its power unit technology until the next generation of Formula 1 engines in 2025.
Honda announced last year that it is pulling out of F1 at the end of 2021, leaving Red Bull without a supplier. As focus turns to the next set of regulations for power units, Red Bull analyzed the viability of running the Honda power units itself, but needed to avoid an expensive development program. With the F1 Commission last week confirming an engine freeze from 2022 onwards, Red Bull and Honda have now reached an agreement that will also see AlphaTauri run Honda technology looked after by the new Red Bull Powertrains Limited.
“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,” Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko said. “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.”
This season will see a normal partnership as Honda supplies Red Bull and AlphaTauri, ahead of the technology being taken over and run by Red Bull from 2022 onwards, with the power unit becoming known as a Red Bull at that point.
With Red Bull creating its own powertrains company that will be based at its F1 headquarters in Milton Keynes, team principal Christian Horner says it was important Honda’s investment in the current regulations didn’t go to waste.
“This agreement represents a significant step for Red Bull in its Formula 1 journey,” Horner said. “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.
“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.”