‘Red Bull was just sick of that’: Reason for Honda divorce revealed

Red Bull's technical partnership with Honda will end at the conclusion of the 2025 season, with the duo set to go their own ways from 2026 onwards.

Ex-Formula 1 driver Christijan Albers believes Red Bull’s new technical partnership with Ford is as a result of current partner Honda being “indecisive”, with the Japanese manufacturer having recently jumped in-and-out of the pinnacle of motorsport.

Following much speculation, it was announced at Red Bull’s launch of their 2023 car last Friday that they would be entering a technical partnership with American manufacturer Ford from 2026.

Many saw this as a punch in the face to Honda, given that the manufacturer are still Red Bull’s partner until the end of 2025.

Whilst Red Bull run under the ‘Red Bull Powertrains’ department, their engines are effectively based on Honda’s, in what is a confusing relationship.

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Despite having left the sport at the end of 2021, Honda continued to work with Red Bull during 2022, before officially announcing a return to the sport at their home Grand Prix in Japan.

As well as that, Honda announced that they’d be entering the 2026 championship as an engine supplier, despite the fact that Red Bull are going to supply their own.

With this in mind, Honda will need to find a new team to partner with from 2026 onwards, in order to remain in the sport.

“Red Bull stole people from Mercedes to make that Honda engine better,” Albers told De Telegraaf.

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“Red Bull may be building an engine for the first time, but Honda are still involved. It’s putting a sticker on it.”

Given how successful Red Bull’s and Honda’s partnership has been over recent years, many can’t get their heads around why the duo are separating.

Albers believes Red Bull became “tired” of negotiating with Honda, with the Japanese manufacturer, as mentioned, having left the sport momentarily before suddenly returning.

“I think they just got tired of those negotiations. Honda was so indecisive,” Albers said.

“Honda decided to pull the plug and yet now they’re back again. I think Red Bull was just sick of that.”

2023 is going to be a challenging year for Red Bull given that they’ve still got virtually nine months of their wind tunnel ban to serve, following their breach of the 2021 budget cap.

Red Bull were awarded a 10-percent reduction in wind tunnel time for 12 months, which is expected to cause some issues for the Austrians; however, Albers believes they’ll be just fine.

Red Bull is a rich team,” Albers added.

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“They have enough budget.

“Yes there is a budget cap, but there are still quite a few exceptions. There is still quite a lot that can be done.

“Like Mercedes, they can reshuffle things a bit with the engine department now. They can mess around quite a bit.”