Christian Horner feels Honda pull-out is a wake-up call for F1 and FIA with regards to the 2026 and beyond regulations as he adds about Renault and Max Verstappen.
With the engine regulations unlikely to change before the 2026 F1 season, Horner feels that Honda’s pull-out should be a wake-up call for the decision makers, considering the complexity and also exuberant expenditure required to deliver the product.
The problem for F1 has risen due to the extra ordinary performance of Mercedes so far, while the idea of electric mobility has also risen, which puts the manufacturers to think beyond hybrid and go straight and invest into the electric world.
“The costs of entrance for a new manufacturer under the current regulations are simply too high,” said Horner to Servus TV. “So I don’t see a new manufacturer coming before the new engine regulation, possibly in 2026. The cost of the development of these engines is hugely prohibitive.
“The FIA and Liberty need to really get these costs under control on the engine side. They have done a good job on the chassis side. Now we need homologated engines and budget caps on the PU side of F1. How it will go from 2026, they have to decide in the next 6 to maximum 12 months,” summed up Horner, citing the Honda decision to pull out as a wake-up call for the organisers.
Honda is looking at carbon neutrality by 2050 and so, they wish to transfer the personnel on that, to be world leaders to do so. They have, however, committed to the IndyCar hybrid programme – where they have a set partner and a larger base to sell their cars.
For Red Bull and even AlphaTauri, it leaves them with a big task now to find a partner from 2022 onward – leaving Renault as the biggest option. The Race, however, has reported that Honda will be willing to extend any help if the team wishes to go down its own path.
This could be a viable option for Red Bull to buy Honda’s work and bring in a third partner to help them continue developing the engine further. With budget cap pushing the bigger teams to lessen personnel in their team, this could help them to re-allocate some.
While Horner did not speak on the same but on Renault, he stated about the change within the structure of French manufacturer, pointing towards changed relations from 2017-2018 to now. “Since the separation, Renault has changed,” he said. The new board brings a lot of fresh air and changes. There are moving forward.”
The question mark on engine side, meanwhile, raised eyebrows with regards to Verstappen’s future as well, with many talking about him potentially leaving after 2021 if he doesn’t get the desired results. Horner, though, didn’t think it to be the case.
The Brit is convinced that Verstappen has faith in Red Bull and for now, he is more looking forward to 2021, where Honda will bring in a new engine, which they were working on for the 2022 F1 season. “There is no engine related clause in Max’s contract agreement.
“He is competitive. He feels very comfortable in the team. He has been a big believer in the Honda program. He sees that Honda will bring the 2022 engine forward to 2021, which is really encouraging. So we will make a step forward next year. Max is excited about that. 2022 is for him still a long way away,” summed up Horner.
Here’s Christian Horner on no hurry in driver decision
Here’s Max Verstappen winning Petit Le Mans
Here’s Max Verstappen on wanting more clean races like Sochi
Here’s Helmut Marko on Honda’s decision and Alexander Albon
Here’s Honda explaining their step to leave F1
Here’s Cyril Abiteboul responding to Honda leaving and providing to Red Bull
Quotes translation courtesy @Vetteleclerc