Horner hails ‘phenomenal’ Honda relationship

Finley Crebolder
Christian Horner, Masashi Yamamoto and Helmut Marko celebrating. Abu Dhabi December 2021

Christian Horner feels the relationship between Red Bull and Honda has been “phenomenal” since they started working together.

The Japanese manufacturer returned to Formula 1 in 2015, supplying their former partner McLaren, but things could not have gone worse for them as the British team dropped to the very back of the grid, due in large part to the power unit.

Despite that, though, Red Bull, unhappy with their suppliers Renault, took a chance on Honda by having them supply sister team Toro Rosso once the McLaren partnership ended in 2018.

They were pleased with what they saw and switched from Renault to Honda themselves the following year, beginning what has proved to be a hugely successful partnership.

Horner says it has been “phenomenal”.

“Absolutely! The passion, the commitment, just their work ethic…” he said when asked if it was the best relationship the team had ever had with a supplier, quoted by GPFans.

“When they came back into the sport they had a hard time but they kept their heads down, they worked hard at it and from day one of this relationship it’s been phenomenal. You can see that through their culture, this work ethic they have.

“The engine for this year was brought forward 12 months and were it not for the incident at Silverstone, Max (Verstappen) would have done the entire season on three engines.”

The partnership came to an end at the climax of the 2021 campaign which saw Max Verstappen clinch the team’s first Drivers’ Championship since 2013 and Honda’s first since 1991.

The manufacturer is walking away from the sport altogether now, which many see as a great loss for both parties given the success they enjoyed together this year in particular.

 

Horner is focusing on the positives though – and the fact the two will continue to work together in the near future as Honda help Red Bull start to supply their own engines for themselves and AlphaTauri for the first time ever.

“The first Drivers’ World Championship in 30 years since Ayrton Senna in 1991 is an enormous moment for them,” he added.

“We are tremendously proud of what we’ve achieved with Honda, for what they have provided and given us, and we now look forward to a future without Honda officially but maintaining a relationship with them over the next few years.”

 

PlanetF1 Verdict

 

Horner hails Honda partnership

Christian Horner has hailed Red Bull's partnership with Honda.