Red Bull F1 has reached an agreement with Honda to keep their engine partnership going after the 2021 season. After the 2021 season, Honda will leave F1 as an engine supplier but Red Bull F1 will continue to use their technology until engine regulations change in 2025.
The agreement will have Red Bull using Honda F1 engine technology to manufacture their own engines, as opposed to their previous agreement where Honda developed and manufactured power plants.
“This agreement represents a significant step for Red Bull in its Formula One journey,” Red Bull F1 team principal 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.”
To facilitate the further use of Honda power plants a new company was founded. Red Bull Powertrains Limited will be run out of the team’s headquarter in Milton Keynes.
Red Bull F1 has been powered by Honda since the 2019 season, after their 12-year relationship with Renault ended with four driver and constructor F1 world titles. Honda powers both Red Bull F1 and their junior team Scuderia AlphaTauri. Scuderia AlphaTauri has run Honda engines since 2018. Red Bull F1 has won five-races with Honda and Scuderia AlphaTauri has won one.
“Honda has invested significantly in hybrid technology to ensure the supply of competitive power units to both teams,” Horner said. “We now begin the work of bringing the power unit division in-house and integrating the new facilities and personnel into our Technology Campus.”
On February 11, 2021 the FIA agreed to an F1 engine development freeze at the conclusion of the 2021 season that will run until the end of 2024. Red Bull F1 proposed the idea, due to Honda’s decision to leave the sport as an engine supplier, and received unanimous support. The next generation of F1 engines will begin racing in 2025.
The engine freeze regulation made it possible for Red Bull to keep using Honda technology and not rely on Ferrari or Renault to sell them power plants. In 2020 Mercedes decided not to supply Red Bull with engines.
“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.”
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Last season Red Bull finished second in the Constructor Championship, 254-points behind Mercedes, and Scuderia AlphaTauri was seventh. Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was third in the drivers standings in 2020 with 214-points and had a pair of victories. His teammate, Alex Albon, finished seventh and had no victories.