Red Bull confirms engine switch for 2019
Red Bull has officially confirmed that from next year, the F1 team will drop the Renault engines that it has relied on for the last 12 years in favour of the Honda engines that are currently powering its junior team, Scuderia Toro Rosso.
The move will effectively result in Red Bull becoming a works outfit for the first time, leaving Renault supplying only their own works entry and McLaren. The switch to Honda power was announced today, ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix which is when the outfit was expected to make its decision public.
“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,” explained Red Bull team principal Christian Horner.
“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.”
The move means that from next year, the Japanese firm will supply both Red Bull and Toro Rosso with identical engines, and marks the first time Honda will supply more than one team following its return to F1 with McLaren in 2015.
“Having two teams means we can access twice as much data as previously,” added Takahiro Hachigo, president & representative director of Honda Motor Co., Ltd. “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.”
Renault meanwhile explained that Red Bulls move away from their engines was a ‘natural evolution’ given the French company’s increasingly competitive works team and Renault and Red Bull’s ‘respective aspirations’
“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,” added Horner. “After careful consideration and evaluation we are certain this partnership with Honda is the right direction for the team.”