Red Bull engine gets another re-brand amid Honda limbo

Honda announced prior to the Japanese Grand Prix that they'd be working closely with Red Bull once again.

Honda and Formula 1 are seemingly in a love-hate relationship, with the Japanese manufacturer having been added to Red Bull’s engine name for 2023, despite having supposedly left the sport at the end of 2021.

2021 was, of course, the year where Max Verstappen claimed his maiden World Drivers’ Championship, after a season-long battle with Lewis Hamilton.

It marked a nice way to depart from the sport for Honda, who really never officially left the pinnacle of motorsport.

Red Bull continued to use Honda’s engines last season but under the Red Bull Powertrains name, with no Honda branding having been on the RB18.

Honda F1 boss Masashi Yamamoto in 2021.v1

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It didn’t take long, though, for the Honda branding and the famous HRC logo to return to the car, as it was announced prior to the Japanese Grand Prix that the Japanese manufacturer and the Austrians would be “strengthening” their relationship.

With Honda’s name having returned to the team’s engine title, it appears that their relationship has certainly grown ahead of 2023; however, how long the relationship remains intact for is another question.

Honda have registered their interest to the FIA that they want to supply engines in 2026, when the new engine regulations are introduced.

Red Bull, though, have also registered their intent in supplying their own power units from when the new regulations are introduced, to ensure that everything at the Austrians is built in-house.

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With that in mind, the pair could collaborate on an engine for 2026; however, Honda have also expressed their interest in going in a different direction, perhaps with Red Bull’s sister team AlphaTauri.

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For the time being, though, Honda will be hoping that Red Bull can claim a second consecutive Constructors’ Championship, with the manufacturer’s branding having been on the RB18 for the world to see when they sealed the 2022 title.

Only time will tell if Honda and Red Bull’s partnership will continue beyond 2025, which is when their current deal will expire.

Honda aren’t the only company to be interested in pairing up with the Austrians, with Ford being reported as being interested in working with Red Bull in 2026.