Red Bull won’t be Honda’s works team

Date published: June 21 2018

Red Bull may be moving over to Honda power next season but they won’t be treated likes a works team with the Japanese manufacturer promising the “same” power unit to Toro Rosso.

Red Bull announced earlier this week that they would switch from Renault power to Honda engines for 2019 in a two-year deal.

The Milton Keynes team will be joining their junior team Toro Rosso as one of the Japanese manufacturer’s two teams but should expect any preferential treatment.

“We’ll supply the same specification PU to both Red Bull and Toro Rosso,” Honda motorsport general manager Masashi Yamamoto said.

“From a manufacturer’s point of view, it doesn’t make sense to identify either team as either works or customer as current regulations oblige us to supply the same power unit to all our teams.

“In that sense, this contract puts the three parties into an equal position.

“Just as was the case with Toro Rosso, we felt a sincere respect from Red Bull throughout the conversation that led to this contract.

“We appreciate them showing us such an attitude even after seeing our difficult time over the previous three years in F1.

“Though we are not going into further details of the contract than shown in the press release, I should say the condition is very fair for both parties.

“We feel that we will have to live up to their high expectations, but can see their respect for us, and we will put everything we have into the development for next season.”

He added: “There won’t be a change in the current relationship between Honda and Toro Rosso.

“But we expect mutual transaction between the teams and Honda within the regulations, so that we need to make sure we maximise that advantage in order to get good synergy together.”

Honda go into the new partnership hoping to sustain Red Bull’s current level for form with Renault engines with every intention of improving on that.

“[Red Bull] is one of the top teams. It has won several championships and this year too it has already won some races.

“In addition, it is also obvious that they have a very good chassis and this means we’ll have better chances of winning races.

“This gives further motivation to all the members of Honda, but at the same time, it is a huge pressure and responsibility for us.

“However, it is Honda’s nature to always aspire to a very high target, and I think that’s what makes Honda Honda.

“As a starting point, we do not want to see Red Bull Racing’s performance drop below its current level. But our target is to go further and do better than they are doing at the moment.”