(Motorsports news) Honda will continue to supply power units to Red Bull directly from Japan until the end of the current Formula 1 regulations, in a dramatic change of plan. Red Bull were supposed to make their own power units from the 2022 new regulation changes but that will not happen as last year’s runner up will continue with Honda. They will not only continue to supply power trains to Red Bull racing but also help their sister team Alpha Tauri till 2025.
The original plan as announced late last year was that the new Red Bull Powertrains division would take complete control on the power units from Honda, with full engineering support from Honda only in 2022. Once Red Bull Powertrains had got up to speed it would then build the engines from Honda parts at its Milton Keynes facility in 2023, 2024 and 2025 while simultaneously working on its own project for the new F1 rules that come into force in 2026. However Red Bull boss Helmut Marko revealed that the plan had changed and now Honda will continue to supply complete engines to Red Bull and AlphaTauri until the end of 2025.
The decision removes any concerns about issues such as quality control that might have come from moving the building of the power units to the UK, The change has been made in part to ensure that RBP will still be a new participant when its own engine is introduced in 2026. It will benefit from the concessions that are being discussed mainly to help encourage the VW Group to finally commit to F1, such as a higher power unit budget cap. This move will help Red Bull massively as a lot of concerns going into the season were regarding their power units but now Honda are back, there is a genuine chance that Max Verstappen might just retain his title and Red Bull can also push for the constructors championship in 2022.
Marko told Autorevue magazine “We have now also found a completely different solution to the one originally envisaged. The engines will be manufactured in Japan until 2025, we will not touch them at all. That means that the rights and all these things will remain with the Japanese, which is important for 2026 because it makes us newcomers. In the course of our ever greater successes, a certain rethinking has taken place among the Japanese. And also that they could of course use the battery knowledge for their electrification phase”
"It was initially planned that they would only make our motors for 2022. Now it has been decided that this will continue until 2025, which is of course a huge advantage for us. This means we only have to make fine adjustments and calibrations."
Regarding the building up of the RBP facility, he added: "The prerequisite for this agreement was that engine development was frozen. Because the first phase would have been that we do everything ourselves. That's why we started in Milton Keynes and dutifully bought in from [dyno supplier] AVL.
"The plant will go into full operation in May/June. The final decision to do it ourselves was conditional on everything being frozen. Because otherwise we wouldn't have had a chance with this complex thing."