Christian Horner talks about the partnership with Honda and it ending in 2025 before Ford comes in as he adds on RB19 being different in Bahrain.

The 2023 Red Bull launch had added flavour when it announced its deal with returning Ford Motor from 2026 onward. It signaled the official end of its partnership with Honda after their current deal which ends at the end of the 2025 season.

In reality, Honda ended its F1 term in 2021 but continued with Red Bull in a separate deal which they extended to until 2025. The Japanese manufacturer is not fully into the sport but they are supporting both the senior team and AlphaTauri.

The branding of Honda increased since the Suzuka weekend in 2022 and will carry on until 2025 F1 season. Interestingly, the Japanese manufacturer has entered under the new power unit regulation from 2026 onward but they are yet to sign a team to enter with.

Red Bull, meanwhile, held talks with Porsche which didn’t come into fruition and seemingly the Honda deal didn’t push beyond 2025 as well which is why they went with Ford where the larger technical work will be done by Red Bull Powertrains.

Talking about incoming Ford and outgoing Honda, Red Bull team boss Horner had good words for the Japanese manufacturer as they are to bid goodbye to their partnership. “We’ve had an incredible partnership with Honda and when they initially announced their withdrawal from Formula 1 in 2020, it was with great sadness and that’s what prompted the creation of Red Bull Powertrains, to take control for our own future,” he said.

“And as we set out on that journey, there was a change of plan with Honda, thankfully, to agree to continue to supply engines till the end of 2025, until we were building up our resource for 2026. That contract we have is until the end of 2025. We have a great working relationship, they are an incredible company and under the current regulations, we will be pushing with Honda all the way until the last race of the 2025 season.

“Now with an OEM partner like Ford our paths are different for the 2026 season. We wish Honda the very best of luck for 2026 as their plans look to crystalise. But between now and then we will be working very closely and looking to build on the success that we have achieved so far,” summed up Horner.

Moving on to the car reveal, Horner was pretty clear that the RB19 in Bahrain will be different to the launch spec which is pretty common theme from Red Bull. “I think the car that we’ve shown today obviously will be somewhat different when you see it Bahrain,” he said.

“The launch was about launching the team’s aspirations for the year ahead, the partners that we have and of course the exciting announcement with the Ford partnership. To do it here in the US, in this market, is the first time ever for Red Bull Racing. Yes, what you’ve seen at the launch is not a total reflection of what will hit the track in Bahrain in a couple weeks’ time,” summed up Horner.

Here’s Ford explaining F1 return decision

Here’s Max Verstappen not seeing RB19

Here’s Red Bull on their livery contest

Here’s Red Bull 2023 livery

Here’s Christian Horner on Daniel Ricciardo’s role

Here’s Red Bull appreciating Alexander Albon

Here’s Max Verstappen confident of Red Bull success despite penalty

Here’s Christian Horner on communication being key for drivers