The rumors are confirmed: Red Bull has finally reach an agreement with its new Power Unit supplier after months of speculation. The Milton Keynes team will race with Honda Power Units for 2019 and 2020.
Both sisters team will run then with the same power unit, putting Red Bull on the same level of a constructor team, after 12 years of relationship with Renault.
"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." Said Christian Horner, Red Bull Team Principal.
"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.”
The Japanese manufacturer got back in the Formula 1 game in 2015 with a partnership with McLaren, which was supposed to bring the historic team and Fernando Alonso back to success, but that didn't happen as Honda struggled to build a PU able to finish a Grand Prix or to deliver a Top 10 worth performance.
Things started to get better last year and this year, when the partnership with Toro Rosso started: “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." added Horner.
The goal for Red Bull is the Championship, something that the team conquered for four years straight with Sebastian Vettel and their historic partner, Renault.
"We would like to thank Renault for the past 12 years, a period during which we experienced some incredible moments together. 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." Has added Horner.
Renault will then likely provide PU only to his own team and McLaren next year, while Red Bull will act at all effects as a manufacturer team. The pieces of the puzzle are being put together, but there is still another piece missing for Red Bull: Max Verstappen has already a concract wich ties him to the team until 2020, but what about Daniel Ricciardo? Will the Honda move convince him to stay in Red Bull or not?