Honda’s F1 managing director Masashi Yamamoto admitted he would have “mixed feelings” seeing Red Bull compete with unbranded engines in 2022 as the Japanese manufacturer officially leaves the sport at the end of the season.

Following Honda’s decision to pull out of the sport at the end of 2021, Red Bull announced it would continue to run Honda power in 2022 - setting up Red Bull Powertrains in the process to run and develop the power unit.

While there won’t be any Honda branding or official association, Red Bull’s 2022 car will have the Japanese power unit in the back of it.

“We have [decided] the overall direction with Red Bull and we are now in the phase of sorting out the details of how Honda can support the programme from next year onwards. We’re still working that part out,” Yamamoto told F1’s official website.

“Personally I’m really glad that at least from next year they have something that we have made. As Honda, we like to support Red Bull with what we can to give them a competitive power unit that means they can fight for championships. If we can give it to them then that would be really great.

“There will not be any Honda branding on the car or the engine, so it will be mixed feelings seeing the car that has a Honda power unit. The heart of the car is a Honda however it’s not really a Honda!”

Red Bull looks to have started 2021 with the best car, aided by significant gains from Honda over the winter.

Yamamoto is confident Red Bull can add to the five wins it has already achieved with Honda power.

“When you take into account the period we had available to us, it was very tough, Yamamoto added. “But we have piled up lots of knowledge since 2015, so I trusted the engineers that they could do it. We were sure and we knew that this power unit has more power, therefore we wanted to race with a better engine with more power, so our determination was really strong.

“Realistically it will be really difficult to win all the races or be strong on every single track. But we are communicating very well with Red Bull that certain races we think we have to win. And the other races we have to make sure we can get at least a podium – that kind of balance we have to get right and then pick up strong results in all the races.”

 

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