Helmut Marko says Aston Martin Red Bull Racing’s partnership with Honda could become ‘massive’ in Japan, particularly if the Milton Keynes-based outfit starts to win races and becomes a frontrunning team within Formula 1.
Red Bull will make the switch from Renault power to run with Honda in 2019, joining Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda amongst the ranks of the Japanese manufacturer, with the sister team having made its own switch to them ahead of the 2018 campaign.
Marko, the advisor of Red Bull, says the pace that Toro Rosso showed during the Japanese Grand Prix weekend, particularly in Qualifying, bodes well for the future, and should it be the case that Honda power becomes a competitive entity within the sport, it can only be positive, and should give Red Bull a lot of support back in Japan.
“It’s very encouraging,” said Marko to Motorsport.com. “We got so much welcome in Japan. Can you imagine if we start winning? Being a frontrunner, I think it will be massive.
“We are really looking positive for next year with a different engine. We saw what they can do in qualifying here.”
Christian Horner, the team principal of Red Bull Racing, says he was impressed by the progress being made by Honda this season, with the recently introduced update enabling Brendon Hartley and Pierre Gasly to qualify sixth and seventh at the Suzuka International Racing Course.
“Certainly over the whole weekend and also in Russia we’ve been following the progress very clearly,” Horner is quoted as saying by Motorsport.com. “And it’s great to see them making real strides.
“We’re very excited about the progress they’re making, and obviously hopeful as we head into 2019. You can see the straightline speed with the car isn’t good, and that’s where we hoping that with the relationship with Honda next year we get more into a level playing field.”