Helmut Marko comments on Red Bull selling team to Honda

Honda have submitted their application to be an engine supplier in 2026, despite not having a team or a partnership for then.

Honda appear to be in a bit of a pickle looking ahead to the new engine regulations in 2026, after Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko informed the Japanese outfit that it’s unlikely their partnership will continue beyond 2025.

The Japanese manufacturer had left the sport at the end of 2021; however, Red Bull continued to use Honda’s power units but under their own name.

As a result of this, only the Honda Racing Corporation (HRC) logo was on the RB18, at least until the Japanese Grand Prix.

At Suzuka it was announced that the duo were reigniting their partnership until the end of 2025, a move which saw Honda’s logo return to Red Bull’s livery and their name return to the Austrian’s engine title for 2023.

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Honda appear to have bigger hopes for the reignited partnership, though, with the company having filed an application to become an engine supplier in 2026.

Interestingly, Red Bull have also filed an application to be a power unit supplier in 2026, with the Austrians intending to use their own engines when the new engine regulations are introduced.

With this in mind, it’s likely that Red Bull’s and Honda’s partnership will end before the new regs are introduced, unless they can find a compromise.

“When Honda announced its withdrawal two years ago, we would have had nothing first of all,” Marko said.

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“They didn’t even want to supply the existing engine.

“We were able to gradually transform that into the cooperation you see today.”

Reportedly, Red Bull are open to a partner for 2026, but one presumably to cover the electrical side of the components.

The likes of Ford have been linked to the Milton Keynes-outfit, with Honda likely to be forced to look elsewhere.

“When it came to who would do what from 2026, things got difficult,” said Marko.

“It was thought that they would only do the electrical part, but we couldn’t come to a common denominator. But let’s see. A decision will be made soon,” he added.

One suggestion that has been rumoured is for Honda to buy Red Bull sister team AlphaTauri; however, Marko has completely ruled this out and insists that in the current F1 market “there’s not much left for Honda”.

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“When Honda comes back, they need a top team,” Marko added.

“That can’t be AlphaTauri, especially if there are no longer any synergies with us if we have a different engine.

“And when I ask around, every engine manufacturer, from Audi to Renault, wants a second team. There’s not much left for Honda.”