Horner: No talk of Honda returning to F1

Date published: March 3 2021 - Michelle Foster

Red Bull Honda

When Honda leave Formula 1 at the end of this season that will be it for the Japanese manufacturer, says Red Bull team principal Christian Horner.

Returning to Formula 1 in 2015, Honda had a troubled time as McLaren’s engine partner before swapping to Red Bull’s junior team and then taking on the senior team a year later.

That partnership yielded success with both Red Bull and AlphaTauri winning grands prix; Pierre Gasly’s victory with AlphaTauri at the 2020 Italian Grand Prix only the team’s second in its history.

The relationship, though, will end at the conclusion of this year’s championship with Honda having announced its withdrawal from Formula 1.

It won’t be the first time Honda has pulled out of Formula 1 but this time Horner says they won’t be back.

He told RaceFans.net: “I think Honda have obviously made their commitment that they’re withdrawing from Formula 1 to concentrate on fully sustainable technology by 2050 and so their company will be very much focussed on that.

“So there’s been no discussion or talk of a Honda return.

“We’re just very grateful that they’ve accommodated this agreement and allowed us to continue with what I’m sure will be a competitive engine.”

AlphaTauri Honda

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Red Bull will instead take over Honda’s engines, creating a new Red Bull Powertrains division to run the power units.

As for what they’ll be called, that’s a ‘Red Bull’ engine.

“As far as badging is concerned, there are no discussions underway regarding that,” Horner said. “So it will be a Red Bull engine.”

AlphaTauri will also run the power unit as a Red Bull engine.

“We haven’t gone into specifics yet but I would envisage so. It’s a Red Bull engine,” he continued.

“As Mercedes is a Mercedes it will be an incorporated part of the car. So it’ll just be a ‘Red Bull’.”

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