Red Bull Racing announced a new partnership with Honda for two Formula 1 seasons which will see them together until 2020, thereby ending its ties with Renault after 12 years of togetherness since the 2007 season.
Team principal Christian Horner said: “This multi-year agreement with Honda signals the start of an exciting new phase in Aston Martin Red Bull Racing’s efforts to compete not just for grand prix wins but for what is always our goal – championship titles.
“We have always taken decisions such as this dispassionately and with only one criteria in mind – do we believe the outcome will allow us to compete at a higher level. After careful consideration and evaluation we are certain this partnership with Honda is the right direction for the Team.
“We have been impressed by Honda’s commitment to F1, by the rapid steps they have made in recent times with our sister team Scuderia Toro Rosso, and by the scope of their ambition, which matches our own. We look forward to working with Honda in the coming years and to racing together in pursuit of F1’s biggest prizes.
“Honda’s alignment with both Red Bull Formula 1 teams provides enormous potential. Honda will have access to a wealth of data from both outfits, with Aston Martin Red Bull Racing leading the way, and the opportunities for faster, more effective and more competitive development are doubled,” he explained.
The Japanese manufacturer secured a partnership with Red Bull’s junior outfit Toro Rosso in 2017 after abruptly ending its three-year reign with McLaren. Reliability was the main agenda for Honda this year which has proved to be better indeed.
They have started to bring in some performance upgrades which is working on well with Toro Rosso. Takahiro Hachigo, President & Representative Director of Honda Motor Co., Ltd. said:
“Having established a good relationship with Scuderia Toro Rosso, we have decided to extend our Formula 1 involvement to the other team in the Red Bull family, Aston Martin Red Bull Racing, as from the 2019 season.
“Having two teams means we can access twice as much data as previously. We believe that working with both Toro Rosso and Red Bull Racing will allow us to get closer to our goal of winning races and championships, building two strong partnerships.
“Discussions proceeded very quickly, thanks to Red Bull’s open and respectful attitude towards Honda, leading to a deal that is fair and equitable for all parties.” Ever since returning, Honda had been wanting to serve more than one team at a time.
Joining Honda, meaning Red Bull will end its ties with Renault at the end of the 2018 season with which it has won four drivers’ and four constructors’ championship. “We would like to thank Renault for the past 12 years, a period during which we experienced some incredible moments together,” said Horner.
“We have sometimes had our differences but Renault has always worked tirelessly and to the best of its ability to provide us with a competitive power unit. That is still the case today and we would like to thank the Renault team, and particularly the guys in our garage at every race, for their unstinting commitment and we look forward to ending our partnership on a high come the end of this season.
“Our focus for the rest of this year is still very much on delivering the best results possible in the 2018 Championship and we wish Renault Sport all the best for the future.” The announcement leaves Renault with only McLaren as its customer team from next season.