Red Bull to also switch from Renault to Honda (8th Update)

Marko and Mateschitz eye switch to Honda power
Marko and Mateschitz eye switch to Honda power – announcement Tuesday?

UPDATE (GMM) Red Bull has decided to switch from Renault to Honda power for 2019 and this rumor is upgraded to 'fact.'

After lengthy delays and high tension between the energy drink-owned outfit and its existing supplier, L'Equipe reports that the decision has now been made in Honda's favor.

The authoritative French publication cited "sources" who said the news will be announced by Red Bull as soon as Tuesday.

Red Bull will therefore join its junior team Toro Rosso in sharing Honda power from 2019, and leave Renault with only its works team and new customer McLaren.


06/10/18 (GMM) Red Bull looks set to dump Renault and use works Honda engines from 2019.

Actually, there is no official news but Red Bull has announced that "At our home race, there will be an announcement".

What the announcement is about is still unknown, but Red Bull is said to be pleased with Honda's progress since its junior team Toro Rosso started using the engines this year.

"The progress Honda has made has been obvious," a source told Salzburger Nachrichten newspaper. "I'm convinced that Honda will overtake Renault in 2019."

What Red Bull does decide could affect Carlos Sainz's future.

The Spaniard is on loan from Red Bull to Renault.

"Red Bull will have to tell Carlos if they want him back or they release him by the end of September," his father Carlos Sainz snr said in Montreal.

"But we do not want to wait that long, as Renault wants to continue working with him."

04/30/18 With the May 15 deadline fast approaching, by which time engine manufacturers have to confirm to the FIA who they will be supplying next season, Honda has confirmed that talks have been held with Red Bull.

"Because it was the very first meeting, we discussed the conditions of both sides, what do we expect of each other," Honda motorsport boss Masahi Yamamoto told the official F1 website, referring to the meeting which took place in Baku on Saturday.

"It was the first discussion," he added. "It was positive. We believe we were both satisfied. There's a good relationship between us. However, it's the first time we have an official meeting. It's the starting point for a potential future.

"We have the obligation to present the documents on the 15 May to the FIA," he confirmed. "It's something we are starting to discuss now and it has to be smooth between Honda and Red Bull.

"I want to use the time we have left to discuss with the Honda board members before I take the feedback back to Red Bull to take the next steps," he admitted. "When we decided to come back to F1, the plan was not to just stick with one team but work with multiple teams. The board members are aware of discussions and there is a big respect for the relationship."

Toyoharu Tanabe
Toyoharu Tanabe

04/20/18 (GMM) Honda is giving nothing away about the possibility of teaming up with Red Bull in 2019.

Red Bull is openly flirting with leaving the Renault camp after this year, and buoyed by the promising early progress of the new Toro Rosso-Honda pairing.

"Toro Rosso is open to new ideas and listen to us attentively," new Honda technical boss Toyoharu Tanabe told France's Auto Hebdo. "We listen to them just as carefully.

"Together we're working hard to achieve our goal."

However, when asked how the Red Bull talks are proceeding, the Japanese answered: "I'm focused on this season and on the technical partnership with Toro Rosso.

"As for everything else, decisions are made in the top management of Honda."

What is clear, though, is that Toro Rosso is happy to be the vehicle for Honda to speed up its engine development, notwithstanding the three engine per season rule.

"Other teams work with two or three major updates per season," Toro Rosso boss Franz Tost told Speed Week. "We pursue a different philosophy.

"We want to make the car faster every time we make small improvements."

03/21/18 (GMM) Dr Helmut Marko has hinted strongly that Red Bull is giving serious consideration to a switch to Honda power for 2019.

Currently, the Austrian outfit is weighing up between staying with Renault or moving to the Japanese manufacturer.

Already for 2018, Red Bull decided to install Honda engines at its second team, Toro Rosso.

"We let Honda explain everything they wanted to change for this year," Marko told Bild newspaper. "That convinced us.

"I am even learning a few Japanese words, especially so that we can have dinner together in the evenings."

Some worry that while Red Bull Racing makes arguably F1's best chassis, it is Renault power that will stop the team from winning the 2018 title.

"Red Bull has taken a step, but it takes a lot of money and energy to reach Mercedes," Frits van Amersfoort, Max Verstappen's junior series boss, told Het Laatste Nieuws.

"It is mainly about Renault and what it can do with the engine, and I'm pretty skeptical. I do not believe the euphoria that arose after the Barcelona tests.

"16 million Dutch think Max is going to be world champion, but we'll only find out in Australia," he added.

Cyril Abiteboul sets deadline
Cyril Abiteboul sets deadline

02/27/18 Renault has told Red Bull it has until May to decide if it wants to continue using the French manufacturer's engines after 2018, or switch to Honda.

Red Bull is coming to the end of its deal to use Renault engines – which are rebadged Tag Heuer – with 2018 the final year of the current contract, but with sister team Toro Rosso switching to Honda, there is the possibility of Red Bull doing the same.

Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul has therefore insisted a decision must be made by May 15 – the date specified in the regulations by the FIA.

"We are not going to hang around forever," said Abiteboul. "I know what Christian [Horner] is referring to when he says that he has options.

"Like him I know and read contracts and obligations that we have to help the sport, not to help Red Bull Racing, but there is one thing that is clear, that’s planning. There will be a deadline for Red Bull Racing to define what they want for the future."

When asked what that deadline would be, Abiteboul replied: "It’s available, it’s in the sporting regulations. I believe that it’s by the end of May. As far as I’m concerned that will be our deadline."

Abiteboul also discussed the future of Carlos Sainz, who joined the team on loan from Red Bull as part of last year's engine swap, and whether Red Bull could call Sainz back early, leaving Renault with a driver predicament.

"No, he’s on a loan contract for the full season," insisted the Frenchman. "It’s not like we are under the risk of losing him at any point in the season.

"For the future, I guess it’s like any driver or anyone coming to the end of their contract, we’re in no worse situation than any team with a driver on a one-year contract. We will want to talk about next year and the only difference is we will have to talk about next year with him and Red Bull Racing."

Dr Helmut Marko
Dr Helmut Marko gives biggest hint yet Red Bull will switch to Honda

02/19/18 (GMM) Red Bull will decide in the first half of 2018 whether to switch to Honda power next year.

After the McLaren-Honda divorce, the Japanese engine supplier has moved on to Red Bull's second team, Toro Rosso.

Dr Helmut Marko, the Red Bull official, said he has been "positively surprised" with what he has seen from Honda so far.

"So far we're positively surprised by Honda, also in terms of their dedication and enthusiasm," he told Auto Motor und Sport.

"I think they have learned from the mistakes that certainly happened.

"So far, according to the test stands, the engine is reliable. I think it will be possible for the engine to catch up to Renault level by mid season," Marko added.

And if that happens, Red Bull is likely to make the switch from Renault to Honda for 2019.

"The regulations have changed so that you have to announce what engine you want to compete with the following year by the summer," said Marko.

"We will analyze thoroughly and then make a decision."

Cyril Abiteboul does not one Red Bull team with Honda and the other with his engines
Cyril Abiteboul does not want one Red Bull team with Honda and the other with his engines

09/22/17 (GMM) Cyril Abiteboul has all but confirmed reports Renault and Red Bull will split after next season.

It was rumored in the Singapore paddock recently that the French supplier has already told the energy drink-owned team that it cannot use Renault power beyond 2018.

Renault boss Abiteboul told the French magazine Auto Hebdo: "Sooner or later, Renault will have to part with Red Bull.

"But the only thing I can confirm today is that we have a contract with them for 2018."

Mateschitz to move both his teams to the soon to be superior Honda engine
Knowing you cannot win a title with Renault, Mateschitz to move both his teams to the soon to be superior Honda engine


Red Bull Formula 1 is reportedly "set to split with engine partner Renault" at the end of the '18 season, according to Andrew Benson of the BBC.

Renault told Red Bull it no longer wants to supply the team after next season, "and while the move has not been officially confirmed, insiders say the divorce is almost certain."

Red Bull "will be forced to use Honda engines with both its teams" in '19. McLaren's switch from Honda engines to Renault for the next three seasons, the same period as Toro Rosso's Honda contract, "is also due to be announced on Friday as part of a busy series of news developments" at the Singapore Grand Prix weekend.

Renault will also confirm that it signed Toro Rosso driver Carlos Sainz for '18, to replace Jolyon Palmer as a teammate to German Nico Hulkenberg. BBC

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