Red Bull Racing has announced that it will continue to use Honda’s power units until the end of the 2024 F1 season, taking over the Japanese engine manufcaturer’s technology following its exit from the sport.
Honda announced at the end of last year that it would depart from Formula One at the end of 2021 with the decision leaving its partner Red Bull and AlphaTauri in a difficult situation. The two parties, the energy drink company-owned outfit and the Japanese manufacturer have now announced that Red Bull will continue to use Honda F1 power unit technology from the beginning of the 2022 season.
The contiuation of the technical collaboration between Honda and Red Bull was made possible by the FIA’s introduction of a Formula One power unit development freeze that takes effect from the beginning of the 2022 season.
The agreement between the Austrian-Anglo and the Japanese company covers the duration of the development freeze, enabling the use of Honda power unit technology in both Red Bull Racing and, sister team, Scuderia AlphaTauri’s cars until the next generation engines are introduced in 2025.
The energy drink company-owned outfit formed a new company named Red Bull Powertrains Limited that will be housed and operated on the Red Bull Technology Campus in Milton Keynes and will be responsible for building the Honda power units in the period between 2022 and 2024.
"Honda is pleased that, following our decision to leave Formula 1 at the end of 2021, we have been able to reach an agreement for the two Red Bull-owned teams to use our F1 PU technology in F1 after 2021."#PoweredByHonda pic.twitter.com/dk4AlW2U0q— Honda Racing F1 (@HondaRacingF1) February 15, 2021
Commenting on the announcement, Christian Horner, Red Bull Racing Team Principal, added: “This agreement represents a significant step for Red Bull in its Formula One 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.
„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," Horner concluded.
Red Bull Motorsport Advisor, Dr Helmut Marko, said: “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.
„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.”