Despite having supposedly said goodbye to the FIA Formula 1 World Championship at the end of 2021, it has been announced that Honda will once again take up a big role in supporting both Oracle Red Bull Racing and Scuderia AlphaTauri, starting from this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix.
The Japanese manufacturer, despite having ‘left’ Formula 1 at the end of 2021, have continued to offer both teams technical support and have provided a base for their power units; however, it looks set that the relationship will return to what it was somewhat like from 2019-2021. The “new agreements” are set to last until the end of 2025, prior to the new engine regulations being introduced in 2026.
Red Bull advisor Dr. Helmut Marko is reportedly set to hold talks with the company about continuing their partnership into the new engine era, which could see Honda supply powertrains to both teams. The increase in their partnership will see the Honda logo return to both teams, with it set to remain until the end of 2025 at least.
Marko is “proud” to go from “strength to strength” with the manufacturer, with the Austrian hoping for “more success”.
“Oracle Red Bull Racing and Honda Racing Corporation have achieved great success in Formula One together. With these new agreements, we are proud to continue going from strength to strength with the technical support from HRC until the next generation of engines are introduced in 2026. We are confident this relationship with HRC will set us up for more success over the next three seasons and thank them for their ongoing support.”
Christian Horner, Team Principal and CEO, Red Bull, is also hoping that the new agreement will see the side achieve the utmost over the next “three years”, starting with Max Verstappen probably becoming a double World Champion this weekend.
“Honda has invested significantly in hybrid technology over the course of our partnership. This has ensured the supply of competitive power units to both teams, for which we are very grateful. Our combined goal is to continue to deliver dominant engines and achieve the most success possible in the following three years. To mark this, we look forward to welcoming the Honda logo back on to the car from Suzuka onwards.”
The agreement will see Verstappen, Sergio Pérez, Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda all attend ‘HRC Thanks Day’ on 27 November, with Pérez also set to become an ambassador of the Honda Racing School and give students a lecture in November.
Franz Tost, Team Principal, AlphaTauri, is “very thankful” for everything Honda have done for his team, and is optimistic that their “success will continue into the future”.
“Over the years we have developed an amazing working relationship with Honda and it’s great to be continuing to strengthen this with a variety of activities, including displaying the iconic logo on the car once again, starting from the Japanese Grand Prix. We are very thankful for the hard work from Honda during our time together, allowing us to achieve several podiums as well as Pierre’s race win in Monza, and we hope that this success will continue into the future.”
Koji Watanabe, Head of Corporate Communications Supervisory Unit, Honda Motor Co., Ltd. and President of Honda Racing Corporation added his thoughts as well, with the President recognising that the return of the Honda logo to the RB18 and AT03 highlights the “strong ties” between the company and the Red Bull family.
“The HRC logo on the nose and Honda logo on the side of the cars of both teams represent the strong ties between Honda and Red Bull Group. Through the technical support provided by HRC, Honda will fully support the challenges those machines take on to become the ‘fastest in the world.’ We are very pleased that these machines will be unveiled at the F1 Japanese Grand Prix, where Honda serves as the title sponsor. Please root for the two Red Bull Group teams which compete with power units loaded with Honda technologies.”