Red Bull Racing have massively changed their focus in regard to their powertrains department, after Honda decided to extend their agreement with the Austrian side until 2025.
After leaving the sport as a manufacturer at the end of 2021, Honda have continued to supply Red Bull and Scuderia AlphaTauri will powertrains.
The original plan was for the new Red Bull powertrain department to work on the power units without Honda assistance; however, the Japanese giants have had a “change in thinking”.
Originally, Honda were going to stop giving factory assistance to Red Bull in 2023 but have now extended this to the end of 2025.
It means that Red Bull won’t be running the engines themselves, with Honda still having a large role with the team.
Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko is thrilled that Honda have changed their minds, with it set to save the Austrian team an incredible amount of hassle.
“Thank God there has been a change in thinking,” he told the Dutch edition of motorsport.com.
“In the original plan, we should have run the engines ourselves from 2023,” Marko explained. “Thank God that has been reversed, otherwise it would have become a real problem for us technically, logistically and also in terms of language.
“Now, Honda will continue to arrange everything themselves,” the Austrian revealed. “We get the engines sealed and can’t look inside of them either.”
It’s unknown why Honda have agreed to extend their assistance by a further two years, with some believing that it could be due to the likelihood that Red Bull are going to sign a deal with Porsche for 2026.
Perhaps Honda are having a change of heart on their position in F1; however, that won’t be known until nearer the time.
The key detail in the current arrangement is that only Honda can see what’s inside the engines, with the manufacturer possibly concerned that Red Bull would copy aspects to benefit Porsche.
“The engine arrives from Honda in a box and if something is wrong with it, only Honda people are allowed to work on it,” Marko said, playing down the risk of any copying.
With the Red Bull powertrains department now not needed until 2026, Marko has revealed that the team are already working on their 2026 engine, for when the new engine regulations will be introduced.
“We are already talking about 300 employees and they are all working on the next engine regulations,” said Marko.
“If a new partner comes in for 2026, then we can join forces. They can then use all of the facilities we already have and that is of course a big plus.
“In terms of facilities, we are going for the best of the best.”