Red Bull confirms switch to Honda engines
19th Jun 2018 2:15 pm
Red Bull Racing has signed a two-year engine deal with Honda, bringing an end to a 12-year partnership with Renault.
Red Bull Racing management has opted to ditch Renault engines in favour of Honda units for the 2019 Formula 1 season onwards. The team has signed a two-year deal with Honda until the end of 2020, which also happens to be the last year of the current engine regulations.
The move spells the end of a 12-year partnership between Red Bull Racing and Renault that has yielded 57 grand prix wins so far and four world championship doubles between 2010 and 2013.
Team principal Christian Horner said the switch was being made because it gave Red Bull the best chance to compete for titles again.
"This multi-year agreement with Honda signals the start of an exciting new phase in Aston Martin Red Bull Racing's efforts to compete not just for grand prix wins but for what is always our goal: championship titles," he said.
"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."
Red Bull has been monitoring Honda's development since sister team Toro Rosso replaced McLaren as the factory Honda F1 squad for this year.
"We have been impressed by Honda's commitment to F1, by the rapid steps they have made in recent times with our sister team Scuderia Toro Rosso, and by the scope of their ambition, which matches our own," Horner added.
"We look forward to working with Honda in the coming years and to racing together in pursuit of F1's biggest prizes."
Toro Rosso will continue to run Honda power as well, giving the Japanese firm two F1 teams for the first time since it had Super Aguri alongside its works outfit in 2007/08.
Honda motor company president and representative director 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."
Relations between Red Bull and Renault had grown increasingly fractious in the years following their last title together, as Renault proved unable to match Mercedes and Ferrari in F1's hybrid era.
"We would like to thank Renault for the past 12 years, a period during which we experienced some incredible moments together," said Horner.
"We have sometimes had our differences but Renault has always worked tirelessly and to the best of its ability to provide us with a competitive power unit."
A Renault statement reacting to Red Bull's move said: "Two years after Renault's return as a works team, we consider this is a natural evolution for both Renault and Red Bull Racing in view of their respective aspirations.
"We are fully focused on the strong progression of Renault Sport Formula 1 Team, while continuing to foster the fresh relationship with McLaren Racing."