Helmut Marko believes Honda are ready to unleash their potential and has said “nobody can keep up” with the quality of their development centre in Japan.
Aston Martin Red Bull Racing announced earlier this season that they are divorcing Renault and signed a deal with Honda for next season.
The Red Bull junior team, Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda, began their partnership with the Japanese manufacture this year and Red Bull have seen enough to make the decision to join them from 2019.
In an interview with Austrian broadcaster, Servus TV, Marko spoke about the decision and the effort Honda are putting in to Formula 1.
“With Toro Rosso everything is working perfectly,” said Marko. “Next year Honda will make a much bigger effort. They have a development centre in Sakura which nobody can keep up with.
“The Japanese have a different culture and a different way of working. You learn that over time.”
Red Bull’s decision comes less than a year after McLaren F1 Team left Honda and switched to Renault power but Marko feels the two teams have different approaches.
“Our approach with Honda is different than McLaren’s,” he said. “They were telling them how they wanted the engine to be built, we just say, ‘build the fastest engine possible for us, then we will try to fit it into the chassis.’
“We don’t have any demands, we discuss everything together.”
Marko declared that the team “had lost faith in Renault” after years of being told they would be competitive the next season.
“We have lost faith in Renault,” said Marko. “Honda is a partner who is committed, has the financial and technical resources and we are the number one team for them.”
Red Bull will have a new driver line-up next year with Pierre Gasly partnering Max Verstappen after the departure of Daniel Ricciardo to Renault Sport Formula One Team and while Marko believes the switch to Honda power may have influenced the Australian’s decision, he feels the team will be ahead of Renault next year.
“The performance of Toro Rosso is showing that they are clearly making progress,” he said. “I am sure that next year we are going to be far ahead of Renault.”