Daniel Ricciardo has expressed that it is important to him to properly understand the reasons about the next years partnership between Red Bull and Honda decision. He still did not sign a new contract, but it is expected that he will stay in the team from Milton Keynes for at least another year, after Mercedes and Ferrari expressed they are no longer interested to get the Australian drive for them for the 2019 season.
In an interview, Ricciardo said: "I've obviously heard the team out more than once and they've given me the reasons. The important thing for me, to understand why they've done it, is it can't just be purely on emotions. Like, 'It's gone to shit with Renault, whatever, and we're doing it because we want to change'.They've obviously done their homework and they strongly believe that it is a good thing, not just an emotional decision. They've done what they can to try and encourage me to make it happen."
Christian Horner, the Team Principal of Red Bull Racing expressed that the Australian did not need a lot of convincing about the partnership with Honda. As he said about the upcoming deal: "The reality is it's time for change. We've been doing the same thing year after year, we've seen real progress with Honda, and it just feels the right time in our evolution to be going a different route."
There are some pros and cons for the partnership, and one of the cons is mainly the fact that Toro Rosso's drivers, especially Pierre Gasly, who are using the Honda engines since this current season, expressed their frustration about the fact that the Honda power unit costs them around a second of straightline speed. On the other hand, Toro Rosso drasticly improved on those engines, allowing Gasly to score the 4th position in the race during the Bahrain GP, which surprised most.
The loss of the second on the straightline is actually not such a huge deal in that situation, since Ricciardo expressed before that „Well, I would say we're losing something similar” with the Renault engine on board.
The downline for Renault began in 2014 after their problems to catch up to Mercedes and Ferrari in the beginning of the turbo-hybrid era. Before that, Renault gained 4 championship titles with Red Bull, that also matched Sebastian Vettel's four world championship titles.
Will the collaboration between Red Bull and Honda be effective? After the situation of McLaren and their partnership with Honda, the Japanese manufacturer gained a lot of criticism from many fronts. After their contract with McLaren was terminated and they signed with Toro Rosso, we could observe that McLaren's results might not be the fault of the engine manufacturer. To be sure about how the partnership between Red Bull and Honda will look like, we first must wait for the beginning of the 2019 season. The most probable thing though is that this partnership is only a temporary solution for the big changes in the 2021 season.