Red Bull Honda: Japanese engine suppliers Honda have decided to quit F1 after 2021, will Red Bull switch back to Renault?
Japanese automobile giants Honda has announced their departure from Formula 1 after the 2021 season. This has come as a significant blow to Red Bull Racing and its sister team AlphaTauri. Red Bull Racing’s Team Principal echoed the sentiments in the official statement.
“As a team, we understand how difficult it has been for Honda Motor Company to decide to step back from Formula One at the end of the 2021 season.”
“The shifting focus within the automotive industry has led to Honda’s decision to redeploy its resources, and we understand and respect the reasoning behind this.”
The partnership with Honda has been decent for both the teams, with five race wins. A lot more was expected, however, after Red Bull decided to end their hugely successful partnership with Renault.
Lead driver Max Verstappen has been facing issues with Honda this season too. Still, Horner hid all of that in a carefully-worded statement on their achievements with the Japanese power unit.
“Whilst we are disappointed not to continue our partnership with Honda, we are enormously proud of our joint success, delivering five wins and 15 podiums for both Red Bull owned teams, and we thank everyone at Honda for their extraordinary efforts and commitment.”
Which engine-supplier will Red Bull shift to in 2022?
After Honda leaves, Formula 1 will have three engine-suppliers left – Ferrari, Mercedes and Renault. Out of them, Ferrari looks highly unlikely as the Italian team traditionally does not support rivals.
This is the reason why their customers currently are minnows Haas and Alfa Romeo, the latter also being their sister company.
Mercedes too looks a long shot, with the German makers set to provide engines to Aston Martin, McLaren and Williams next season.
Apart from themselves being competitive, McLaren and Aston Martin are expected to be strong challengers with their Merc power units.
Williams could spring a surprise too, after the investment from Dorilton Capital. This makes things extremely difficult when it comes to Red Bull, convincing Mercedes to join hands.
live footage inside the red bull/renault meeting pic.twitter.com/n6aMpxt9lB
— izzie✨ (@monteclerc) October 2, 2020
This leaves Red Bull with their old partners Renault. This partnership yielded four consecutive championships for Sebastian Vettel from 2010 to 2013.
But the relationship soured after Mercedes took over the domination baton from 2014 onwards. The domination has still shown no signs of slowing down, with another championship a formality this season.
But with Renault being the only realistic option, they could be set for a partnership, yet again. There is also the stipulation that if Ferrari and Mercedes do not partner Red Bull, Renault will have to.
This is because, in such a scenario, the engine-provider with the least customers has to agree to a request. Renault is set to be left with no customer teams after McLaren makes the famed switch to Mercedes.