Honda "helping its chances" of Red Bull deal

Honda is "helping its chances" of being a viable option for Red Bull should the team decide to switch engines for 2019, following the Japanese manufacturer's promising start to the season.

Honda "helping its chances" of Red Bull deal
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB14 on the grid
Pierre Gasly, Toro Rosso, is congratulated on a good result by Helmut Markko, Consultant, Red Bull Racing
Pierre Gasly, Toro Rosso STR13 Honda, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W09
The car of Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB14 Tag Heuer, is recovered
Helmut Markko, Consultant, Red Bull Racing, congratulates the Toro Rosso team on a 4th placed finish with Pierre Gasly, Toro Rosso
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB14
Pierre Gasly, Scuderia Toro Rosso STR13
Listen to this article

Pierre Gasly started fifth and finished fourth in the Honda-powered Toro Rosso in Bahrain, helped by a double retirement for the sister Red Bull team – including a Renault energy store failure for Daniel Ricciardo.

Renault Sport boss Cyril Abiteboul has made it clear that he wants a decision on Red Bull's future plans sooner rather than later, citing the May/June deadline given by the FIA for manufacturers to confirm which teams it will be supplying.

Honda's current form has inevitably boosted speculation the Red Bull could be set for a switch next year.

"I mean, it's helping their chances of looking attractive to Red Bull," said Ricciardo. "At least at the moment it has got nothing to do with me. And I do mean that, because I'm not contracted to the team for next year.

"But those engine discussions, you know, don't involve us drivers. I'm aware that there could be some changes next year. And it's cool for Honda.

"They obviously invested quite a bit in the last few years, and it didn't work with McLaren. But pretty cool that now Toro Rosso is doing well with it."

Red Bull motorsport boss Helmut Marko made it clear that the chances of a switch have increased as Honda has shown improved form in 2018.

"Before we made the decision to work with Honda we believed it could be a successful package, once they showed us what they were planning to do," he told Motorsport.com.

"When the time is right, we'll make our decision. There's a bigger picture which we have to look at.

"It's going in the right direction, and you journalists should know that we are brave."

Team boss Christian Horner has insisted that Red Bull is not in a hurry to make a call, suggesting that the end of the summer was the team's own timescale.

"We've got a great front row seat to follow progress through the first half of the season. That's very much our game plan," said Horner.

Ricciardo's teammate Max Verstappen insisted that Honda wasn't yet on his radar.

"I haven't been thinking about that. And to be honest, it's not up to me. Any team, the more power you can have, the better it is of course. But it's still early days of course, so we'll see," he said.

However, he acknowledged that Gasly's performance had registered: "It was great to see. I was standing next to Helmut when we were watching it [qualifying], and it was great to see Pierre put in a great lap.

"I think the whole package seems to be pretty decent."

shares
comments

ESPN to stay commercial-free in U.S. F1 broadcasts

Leclerc: Ericsson making first GPs difficult

The enormous job facing F1 for its Vegas gamble to pay off

The enormous job facing F1 for its Vegas gamble to pay off

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
Las Vegas GP
GP Racing

The enormous job facing F1 for its Vegas gamble to pay off The enormous job facing F1 for its Vegas gamble to pay off

Testing times for Vasseur, but the true challenge at Ferrari is about to come

Testing times for Vasseur, but the true challenge at Ferrari is about to come

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
Jonathan Noble

Testing times for Vasseur, but the true challenge at Ferrari is about to come Testing times for Vasseur, but the true challenge at Ferrari is about to come

How the F1 driver expression saga continues to have a Lineker-like problem

How the F1 driver expression saga continues to have a Lineker-like problem

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
Saudi Arabian GP
Alex Kalinauckas

How the F1 driver expression saga continues to have a Lineker-like problem How the F1 driver expression saga continues to have a Lineker-like problem

Why a Mercedes U-turn couldn't deny Sauber's F1 debut surprise

Why a Mercedes U-turn couldn't deny Sauber's F1 debut surprise

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
Adam Cooper

Why a Mercedes U-turn couldn't deny Sauber's F1 debut surprise Why a Mercedes U-turn couldn't deny Sauber's F1 debut surprise

Why Mercedes is fronting up to its F1 mistakes too much

Why Mercedes is fronting up to its F1 mistakes too much

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
Jake Boxall-Legge

Why Mercedes is fronting up to its F1 mistakes too much Why Mercedes is fronting up to its F1 mistakes too much

CFD: How a dynamic design tool has grown in F1 importance

CFD: How a dynamic design tool has grown in F1 importance

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
GP Racing

CFD: How a dynamic design tool has grown in F1 importance CFD: How a dynamic design tool has grown in F1 importance

How Ecclestone’s new F1 documentary defies expectations

How Ecclestone’s new F1 documentary defies expectations

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
GP Racing

How Ecclestone’s new F1 documentary defies expectations How Ecclestone’s new F1 documentary defies expectations

How did the 2023 F1 rookies fare in Bahrain?

How did the 2023 F1 rookies fare in Bahrain?

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
Bahrain GP
Jake Boxall-Legge

How did the 2023 F1 rookies fare in Bahrain? How did the 2023 F1 rookies fare in Bahrain?