AlphaTauri/Honda working relationship still the same

Jamie Woodhouse
Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri, drives down the pit lane. Spain, February 2022.

Officially, Honda have exited Formula 1, but AlphaTauri boss Franz Tost says nothing has changed in how they work together.

Honda announced 2021 would be their final season in Formula 1, with the company set to switch focus towards their projects to become carbon-neutral.

Slowly though, their continued involvement beyond 2021 strengthened, with Red Bull confirming that although they were taking over Honda’s intellectual property on the power units, the 2022 engine would still come from Honda in Japan.

Red Bull driver programme boss Helmut Marko recently said this arrangement will now be extended until 2025.

As well as Red Bull, Honda also supply their sister team AlphaTauri.

And according to AlphaTauri team principal Tost, their work with Honda is near enough the same as it has been for the previous seasons.

Asked if any of AlphaTauri’s operations have changed due to Honda’s exit, Tost said, quoted by Motorsport-Total.com: “Not at the moment because Honda are still involved with their people.

“We have almost the same people as last year. The engines are built in Sakura, Japan. In that respect, there is no difference.

“We don’t expect any problems on the operational side so far.”

Max Verstappen, Helmut Marko and Honda's Masashi Yamamoto celebrate. Abu Dhabi December 2021.

With Honda remaining involved on the power unit front, they have been hard at work creating an upgraded engine for the 2022 season and beyond to work with the new E10 fuel.

The early signs were positive for both Red Bull and AlphaTauri at the group shakedown in Barcelona where Sergio Perez set the third fastest time of the three-day event in the Red Bull RB18, while the team recorded a total of 358 laps.

AlphaTauri’s final lap count was 308, and despite not posting a time that troubled the top of the timings Tost is aiming for P5 “or better” in the 2022 Constructors’ Championship, having missed out on that position to Alpine in 2021.

 

There is another test to go before the season starts, that being the official pre-season outing at the Bahrain International Circuit from March 10-12.

The same venue will then kick off the 2022 season with the Bahrain Grand Prix on March 20.

 

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