Aston Martin Red Bull Racing will use Honda-powered engines for the 2019 and 2020 Formula 1 season, ending their relationship with Renault.
Speculation has surrounded over the season whether Red Bull would stick with their current suppliers, or move to Honda when their contract runs out at the end of the year. Red Bull’s sister team Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda are powered by the Japanese engine manufacturer.
Red Bull and Renault will then end their 12-year partnership together at the end of the season, as the Milton Keynes based team have agreed to Honda engines for two seasons. Red Bull’s main title sponsor Aston Martin are looking into joining Formula 1 when the new 2021 rules are finalised.
Ahead of the announcement, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner says the move to Honda is an exciting and new phase for the Red Bull team as they aim to continue on their goal of winning races and championships.
“This multi-year agreement with Honda signals the start of an exciting new phase in Aston Martin Red Bull Racing’s efforts to compete not just for grand prix wins but for what is always our goal – championship titles.” said Horner.
“We have always taken decisions such as this dispassionately and with only one criteria in mind – do we believe the outcome will allow us to compete at a higher level. After careful consideration and evaluation we are certain this partnership with Honda is the right direction for the Team.”
Horner added: “We have been impressed by Honda’s commitment to F1, by the rapid steps they have made in recent times with our sister team Scuderia Toro Rosso, and by the scope of their ambition, which matches our own. We look forward to working with Honda in the coming years and to racing together in pursuit of F1’s biggest prizes.”
Honda joined the sport in 2015 with McLaren F1 Team but their relationship was cut short by three years as the pairing failed to achieve decent results, which led to the Japanese engine company moving to Toro Rosso.
Their first year with the Italian team opened strongly with a fourth place by Pierre Gasly in only their second race together at Bahrain, their best result to date since their return to the sport.
Takahiro Hachigo, President & Representative Director of Honda, said that after establishing a good starting relationship with Toro Rosso, the decision was made to expand and partner up with Red Bull.
“Having established a good relationship with Scuderia Toro Rosso, we have decided to extend our Formula 1 involvement to the other team in the Red Bull family, Aston Martin Red Bull Racing, as from the 2019 season.” said Hachigo.
“Having two teams means we can access twice as much data as previously. We believe that working with both Toro Rosso and Red Bull Racing will allow us to get closer to our goal of winning races and champions hips,building two strong partnerships. Discussions proceeded very quickly, thanks to Red Bull’s open and respectful attitude towards Honda, leading to a deal that is fair and equitable for all parties.”
Regarding the departure of Renault after spending 12 years together, winning four drivers and constructors titles, Horner gives their thanks for their hard work and wishes them the best for the future.
“We would like to thank Renault for the past 12 years, a period during which we experienced some incredible moments together.” Horner continued.
“We have sometimes had our differences but Renault has always worked tirelessly and to the best of its ability to provide us with a competitive power unit. That is still the case today and we would like to thank the Renault team, and particularly the guys in our garage at every race, for their unstinting commitment and we look forward to ending our partnership on a high come the end of this season.
“Our focus for the rest of this year is still very much on delivering the best results possible in the 2018 Championship and we wish Renault Sport all the best for the future.”