Marko: ‘Honda keeping to promises…so far’

Date published: December 19 2018

Red Bull: Impressive early signs with Honda

Dr Helmut Marko has expressed Red Bull’s delight with the early progress in their partnership with Honda.

Red Bull will make the switch to Honda engines for the 2019 season, having ended their spiky relationship with Renault after 12 years.

The Austrian outfit will join their sister team Toro Rosso in using Honda power, after a largely successful 2018 season followed in the first year of their alliance.

Marko, Red Bull advisor and head of their young driver programme, is already touting the World Championship in 2019 as a real possibility.

Speaking to Servus TV, he said: “So far, all their promises on the technical side have been kept.

“If this continues, we will then have a great chance to compete for the title in the coming season.”

Honda suffered an unspectacular return to the sport back in 2015, as their reunion with McLaren fizzled out into three years of engine failures, power issues and bickering between both parties.

Marko was adamant, however, that no such problems would arise for his team.

“We have a different approach than McLaren,” he explained.

“It is the first time in 14 years that we have factory status. We said to Honda ‘Bring us the strongest engine you can build. Whatever you bring, we’ll put it in the car’.

“At McLaren, the approach was different.

“We are prepared for Honda having a different culture, but they have the potential and the financial resources to succeed in F1. We will see how things go.”

Marko also commented on the status of his friend and compatriot Niki Lauda, after the non-executive chairman of Mercedes underwent a lung transplant in August.

“After five months, Niki has finally left the hospital and rehabilitation clinic and is back home,” he added.

“All his organs are working, now it’s time to regain his strength. I am optimistic we will see him back in Australia next March.”

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