Red Bull remains committed to F1 despite Honda exit

The Red Bull Racing and AlphaTauri teams remain committed to Formula 1 despite Honda's decision to withdraw from the sport at the end of the 2021 season.

The Japanese manufacturer announced on Friday that it will conclude its F1 programme at the end of next season in order to focus its resources elsewhere.

Red Bull Racing and AlphaTauri have both been left looking for a new power unit partner for 2022 and beyond.

The news of the loss of Honda comes only a few weeks after both teams signed the new Concorde Agreement, committing them to the future.

Honda has indicated that it communicated its thoughts to Red Bull in August, and made its final decision at the end of September – some time after the Concorde Agreement was signed, and at a time when both teams still believed that their futures were linked to Honda.

The teams have been left in a difficult position.

Mercedes already has three partners in Williams, McLaren and the rebadged Aston Martin, while Red Bull's relationship with Renault unravelled before the move to Honda, and forging a reunion would be challenging.

Ferrari, which already has two partners, is currently uncompetitive.

Red Bull motorsport boss Helmut Marko stressed that the company remains committed to the sport, and confirmed it does not yet have a new engine partner lined up.

"Our immediate ambition for the remainder of the 2020 and 2021 seasons is to work with Honda to chase race wins and be strong championship contenders," said Marko.

"Beyond that we will work with our teams to evaluate the most competitive power unit solutions for 2022 and beyond. We remain committed to the sport, with both teams are signatories to F1's latest Concorde Agreement."

Red Bull boss Christian Horner said he respected Honda's decision.

"As a team we understand how difficult it has been for Honda Motor Company to reach the decision to step back from F1 at the end of the 2021 season," said Horner.

"The shifting focus within the automotive industry has led to Honda's decision to re-deploy their resources and we understand and respect the reasoning behind this.

"Their decision presents obvious challenges for us as a team but we have been here before and with our strength in depth we are well prepared and equipped to respond effectively, as we have proven in the past.

"Whilst we are disappointed not to continue our partnership with Honda, we are enormously proud of our joint success, delivering five wins and 15 podiums for both Red Bull owned teams and we thank everyone at Honda for their extraordinary efforts and commitment.

"Our joint focus for the remainder of the 2020 and 2021 seasons are unchanged, to fight for victories and challenge for the championship."

Horner said the team will take time to source a new engine.

"As a signatory to F1's latest Concorde Agreement, Red Bull Racing remains committed to the sport in the long term and we look forward to embarking on a new era of innovation, development and success.

"As a group, we will now take the time afforded to us to further evaluate and find the most competitive power unit solution for 2022 and beyond."

AlphaTauri boss Franz Tost said the pull out of the sport decision was "unfortunate."

"Scuderia AlphaTauri and Honda have built up a very good and professional relationship since we started to cooperate in 2018", said the Austrian.

"It's unfortunate that Honda has decided to stop their commitment in F1, because their power unit's performance has been improving constantly and dramatically to become one of the best engines on the grid in a short period of time, since they returned to the sport.

"I'm convinced that together we will continue to achieve strong results in the remaining races this season and next year.

"We certainly respect the reason behind Honda's decision to focus on environmental initiatives and to strive for the realization of carbon neutrality, everybody at Scuderia AlphaTauri wish them well in reaching all their goals and to have a successful future ahead.

"We sincerely want to thank Honda for the fruitful cooperation, we really enjoyed every day we've been working together. It won't be easy to find an engine partner like Honda but, of course, we will start looking at all possibilities to find the best power unit solution from 2022 onwards."

shares
comments

Related video

Honda to quit Formula 1 at the end of 2021 season

Previous article

Honda to quit Formula 1 at the end of 2021 season

Next article

What next for Red Bull after Honda’s shock Formula 1 exit

What next for Red Bull after Honda’s shock Formula 1 exit
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Teams Red Bull Racing
Author Adam Cooper
How Verstappen and Hamilton’s Imola clash sets the tone for 2021 Prime

How Verstappen and Hamilton’s Imola clash sets the tone for 2021

In Max Verstappen's Formula 1 career to date, he has been cast as the 'pretender', an acknowledged top-line performer without the car to regularly challenge Lewis Hamilton. But that no longer applies in 2021, and the start to the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix was the most telling signal yet of what we can expect from their duel this year

How "overwhelming" McLaren move has given Ricciardo a new verve Prime

How "overwhelming" McLaren move has given Ricciardo a new verve

Daniel Ricciardo has found a new lease of life at McLaren – a move that’s been years in the making, as he explains to STUART CODLING…

Formula 1
Apr 20, 2021
How 2021's midfielders have taken lessons from F1's top teams Prime

How 2021's midfielders have taken lessons from F1's top teams

Formula 1’s latest Imola adventure turned into an expensive trip for many teams due to several crashes throughout the weekend. While balancing the books is an added factor in 2021 with the cost cap, a few midfield teams have cashed in early on development investments.

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Driver Ratings

A frantic wet race at Imola produced plenty of excitement and drama as drivers scrabbled for grip. Amid the hatful of mistakes and incidents that ensued, who kept their noses cleanest?

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
How the Emilia Romagna GP result hinged on three crucial saves Prime

How the Emilia Romagna GP result hinged on three crucial saves

Rain before the start of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix promised to spice up the action, and the race certainly delivered on that. Max Verstappen got the best launch to win from Lewis Hamilton, but both got away with mistakes that could have had serious consequences

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era Prime

The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era

The first in a line of world beaters was designed in a back bedroom and then constructed in a shed. STUART CODLING recalls the Tyrrell 001

Formula 1
Apr 18, 2021
Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola Prime

Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola

While Mercedes struck back against Red Bull by topping the times at Imola on Friday ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, the overall picture remains incredibly close. Despite having a possible edge this weekend, the reigning Formula 1 world champion squad is not taking anything for granted...

Formula 1
Apr 16, 2021
What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track Prime

What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track

Mercedes may find itself leading the drivers' and constructors' standings after Lewis Hamilton's victory in the Bahrain Grand Prix, but it is well aware that it came against the odds, with Red Bull clearly ahead. Here's what the Brackley team must do to avoid its crown slipping .

Formula 1
Apr 16, 2021