Honda announced last year that 2021 would be its final season in Formula 1, the Japanese manufacturer stating that it had achieved its aim of building a race-winning power unit and wanted to instead focus on “the realisation of carbon neutrality by 2050”.
The decision left Red Bull and its junior team AlphaTauri considering their options.
Red Bull’s first choice, rather than return to Renault engines or move to Mercedes power, was to continue with Honda, taking over the IP and running the engines themselves.
That, though, all depended on the cost of the project with last week’s decision to freeze engine development from 2022 paving the way for the new deal.
Red Bull have announced that the deal with Honda ‘covers the duration of the development freeze, enabling the use of Honda power unit technology in both Red Bull Racing and, sister team, Scuderia AlphaTauri’s cars until the next generation engines are introduced in 2025’.
“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 the team’s advisor Helmut 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.”
Red Bull has formed a new company named ‘Red Bull Powertrains Limited’ to run the project. The new company will be based at the team’s Milton Keynes headquarters.
Team boss Christian Horner added: “This agreement represents a significant step for Red Bull in its Formula One journey. 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.”