In order to maintain the use of Honda power for the 2022 Formula 1 season and beyond, Red Bull Racing has reached an agreement with the Japanese manufacturer to take over the rights to their powertrain.
Following Honda’s shock departure announcement last year, Red Bull have been working closely with the FIA and Formula 1 commission to secure an ‘engine freeze’ for the ensuing seasons which will allow them to use Honda technology under a new IP until the new engine regulations in 2025.
Just last week, the engine freeze was formally approved- prompting Red Bull to announce their Honda PU takeover.
The deal will also apply to sister team Scuderia AlphaTauri, with the Faenza-based outfit continuing to utilise Honda technology alongside Red Bull.
Engine operations will be run under a newly formed company called Red Bull Powertrains Limited, which will be located at the team’s Red Bull Technology Campus in Milton Keynes.
“This agreement represents a significant step for Red Bull in its Formula 1 journey,” said Red Bull team principal Christian Horner.
“We were understandably disappointed when Honda made the decision to leave the sport as an engine manufacturer, as our relationship yielded immediate success, but we are grateful for their support in facilitating this new agreement. Honda has invested significantly in hybrid technology to ensure the supply of competitive power units to both teams. We now begin the work of bringing the power unit division in-house and integrating the new facilities and personnel into our Technology Campus.
“In the meantime, we are fully focused on achieving the best possible results in what will be Honda’s final season as an official power unit supplier.”
Helmut Marko, Red Bull’s Motorsport Advisor, says talks with Honda have been ongoing but it was not until the recent decision to freeze the power units for 2022 that they could decide to go this way by taking over the development of the Japanese manufacturer’s power units.
“We have been discussing this topic with Honda for some time and following the FIA’s decision to freeze power unit development from 2022, we could at last reach an agreement regarding the continued use of Honda’s hybrid power units,” said Marko.
“We are grateful for Honda’s collaboration in this regard and for helping to ensure that both Red Bull Racing and Scuderia AlphaTauri continue to have competitive power units. The establishment of Red Bull Powertrains Limited is a bold move by Red Bull but it is one we have made after careful and detailed consideration.
“We are aware of the huge commitment required but we believe the creation of this new company is the most competitive option for both teams.”