|Marko says Honda is why Verstappen re-signed|
One of the big news items of the year gone was Max Verstappen committing to Red Bull until the end of 2020, an unexpected development as he is a very hot property in Formula 1 and a Mercedes or Ferrari deal might have been an alternative but a visit to Honda convinced the young Dutchman to stick it out with the energy drinks outfit.
In an interview with Speedweek, Red Bull’s Helmut Marko revealed, “We simply explained to [Max] what our plans for the future are. We have guaranteed him that we will have the top people all under contract.
“And that we have an alternative option with regards to our engine. We flew to Honda’s HQ in Sakura where they have an incredible factory and all this convinced him."
This all but confirms that Red Bull are hedging their bets by securing Honda power for Toro Rosso, their junior team while biding time by sticking to Renault power for their senior team.
No doubt the hope is that Honda will get their power unit to a competitive level, which would then allow Red Bull to ditch their customer Renault deal to become a works outfit when and if the Japanese manufacturer can deliver the required horsepower and reliability to challenge Mercedes and Ferrari.