Red Bull and Honda have entered official negotiations into a potential deal to see the Japanese manufacturer become its power unit supplier from 2019.

Red Bull motorsport advisor Dr Helmut Marko met with Honda chief Masahi Yamamoto on Saturday at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in Baku for the first official talks between the two but time is already in short supply to lockdown a deal with the official deadline set for May 15 for manufacturers to confirm which teams it will supply for 2019.

After a nightmare three years with McLaren, Honda began a new partnership with Toro Rosso this year and in just its second race the team secured the Japanese manufacturer’s best result since returning to Formula 1 with Pierre Gasly finishing in fourth place at the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Reports have emerged that Red Bull has been impressed by the step up in performance and reliability Honda has delivered for sister team Toro Rosso. With Red Bull’s current relationship with engine supplier Renault under strain it could pave the way to Honda being the official supplier to both teams from 2019.

“It was the very first meeting, we discussed the conditions of both sides, what do we expect of each other,” Yamamoto told “It was the first discussion. It was positive. We do 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.”

With just over two weeks until the FIA power unit supplier deadline for 2019, Yamamoto has confirmed he will discuss the Red Bull proposals with the Honda board before any deal can be nailed down.

“I want to use the time we have left to discuss with the Honda board members before I take the feedback back Red Bull to take the next steps,” he said. “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.”

Honda’s current Toro Rosso arrangement will run until at least the end of the 2020 F1 season and it is believed any deal with Red Bull will align with the same timeframe in preparation for the 2021 rules shake-up.



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