Red Bull Powertrains boosted by key Honda signing

Jamie Woodhouse
Red Bull driver Max Verstappen, Helmut Marko and Honda's Masashi Yamamoto celebrate. Abu Dhabi December 2021.

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

Masashi Yamamoto, Honda’s former F1 managing director, will leave the company to set up a consultancy firm to work with Red Bull.

Honda made the decision to leave Formula 1 at the end of 2021, handing over their power units to customer team Red Bull, who have formed Red Bull Powertrains to carry on from Honda’s work.

But while the partnership is officially over, it was well documented that Red Bull wanted to keep Honda involved for the transitional season in 2022.

And now, a major step has been agreed on that front.

Yamamoto will leave Honda this month and set up a new company that effectively will act as a consultant between Red Bull and Honda, making him the point of contact for the relationship.

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

Speaking to, Yamamoto said: “We have established a new company.

“We want to do something that makes people happy, and if we win in F1, then fans will be happy with that.

“We’ve signed a contract with the company at Red Bull Powertrains. The company has me, at the request of Red Bull’s Christian Horner and Helmut Marko, to support them.

“It’s a contract between companies, so it’s difficult to speak about details, but as one of the members of Red Bull Powertrains, I will undertake work that will help them.

“If, for example, they want to understand Japanese culture and Honda’s culture, and have a closer and better relationship with Honda, we can support it. Basically it’s a bridge between Red Bull and Japan.”

This decision though was not something which had only recently been made by Yamamoto, instead, he said that he had chosen in March of 2021 to leave Honda, following their decision to depart Formula 1.

Yamamoto felt that after being dedicated to Formula 1 from 2019-21, he could use that experience, rather than follow many of the other former Honda F1 crew who have moved on to alternative projects.

“I decided that in March of last year,” he said of his choice to leave Honda.

“I was appointed director of motorsports in 2016, and my goal was to win the SUPER GT championship at first. I was able to achieve that in 2018 [with Naoki Yamamoto and Jenson Button].

“For the next three years, I was dedicated to F1. From the beginning, I thought that this work was the culmination of my life at Honda and I thought I could make use of everything I had experienced there.

“I was wondering if we could win with Red Bull for the first time in the first year, and then have a good [championship] fight with Mercedes in the second year. But that wasn’t the case.

“But, in the third year, with Verstappen’s driving ability and the strong Red Bull team we managed to win the championship.” state that Yamamoto is expected to attend a number of races as part of his new venture.

The 2022 season is set to get underway with the Bahrain Grand Prix race weekend from March 18-20.


Honda will be back in F1 eventually

I don't think it will be long until we see Honda back in the paddock.