Honda arrived into the sport in the hybrid era of Formula One, but last year decided it didn’t want to be apart of it any longer. Believing F1’s direction was not in line with the brand’s strategy, Honda will exit the sport and stop supplying Red Bull and AlphaTauri F1 teams after the 2021 season. Red Bull has now announced that it has struck a deal with Honda to licence the intellect property rights and continue to use the Honda engines which are currently powering both its teams till 2025.
Red Bull decided it was the better solution rather than going back to Renault engines which the French manufacturer would be obligated to supply according to the regulations. It was no secret that Renault and Red Bull’s separation was less than amicable. Additionally, Mercedes and Ferrari both denied that they would supply Red Bull with their engines.
Honda had entered the sport with McLaren in 2015, however, their lack of a competitive power unit in its initial years meant that relationship also ended on a sour note. Subsequently, the Japanese brand tied up with Torro Rosso (now AlphaTauri, then started to supply Red Bull soon after. With AlphaTauri and Red Bull, Honda was able to secure five race wins and multiple podiums.
The four-time world champions have formed a new company “Red Bull Powertrains Limited” which will run the Honda engine project till 2025 for the two teams. The new division will be stationed at Red Bull F1 Team’s base in Milton Keynes.
Since the announcement of Honda’s departure, Red Bull has been pushing for an Engine Freeze regulation in the sport for the time being. Red Bull’s agreement with Honda comes after the FIA, the governing body of Formula One, has agreed to implement the same
The 2021 season will be Honda’s last in the sport. For 2021 the Honda-powered Red Bull cars will be piloted by Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez. While AlphaTauri has retained Pierre Gasly for 2021 while promoting Red Bull Academy driver, Yuki Tsunoda to race alongside as a new rookie on the grid.
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