Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner says he is ‘disappointed’ with the decision by engine suppliers Honda to end their agreement at the conclusion of the 2021 F1 season after what will be only three years working together.
 
Red Bull Racing and Honda joined forces in 2019 after concluding their own fractious relationships with Renault and McLaren respectively, with the partnership yielding a strong upturn in fortunes, namely Honda’s first podiums and wins since re-entering the sport in 2015 with its V6 Hybrid power unit.
 
However, at a time of ‘transition’ in the automotive sector - as Honda coins it - the Japanese giants have concluded its involvement amid a quest to shift towards new greener and sustainability technologies is at odds with the image portrayed in F1.

 


 
As such, it has opted not to commit beyond the 2021 F1 season, leaving Red Bull Racing and sister team AlphaTauri without an engine partner from 2022 onwards. As it stands, it will need to agree a deal with the remaining suppliers - Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault - each of which compete with their own in-house factory teams.
 
It creates another headache for Red Bull Racing, which enjoyed immense success with Renault during the V8 era before relations strained as the French firm lost touch in the engine stakes to Mercedes and Ferrari under fresh regulations, ultimately leading to their split at the end of the 2018 season.
 
“Whilst we are disappointed not to continue our partnership with Honda, we are enormously proud of our joint success, delivering five wins and 15 podiums for both Red Bull owned teams and we thank everyone at Honda for their extraordinary efforts and commitment.
 
“Our joint focus for the remainder of the 2020 and 2021 seasons are unchanged, to fight for victories and challenge for the championship. 
 
“As a signatory to Formula One’s latest Concorde Agreement, Red Bull Racing remains committed to the sport in the long term and we look forward to embarking on a new era of innovation, development and success. As a group, we will now take the time afforded to us to further evaluate and find the most competitive power unit solution for 2022 and beyond.”
 
To date Red Bull Racing and Honda have achieved four wins together - each courtesy of Max Verstappen - while AlphaTauri scored a famous recent victory at the Italian Grand Prix with Pierre Gasly.