Red Bull Optimistic about Honda Future as it Looks to Aston Martin
Dr. Helmut Marko, advisor to Red Bull Racing, says the Formula One team is “optimistic” about Honda’s future in the sport, which has recently become intertwined with that of the energy drink company. Red Bull’s sister team Toro Rosso will be powered by Honda in 2018 and Renault will stop supplying the main team with engines at the end of that season, narrowing Red Bull’s engine options for 2019 and beyond down to just Honda.
Though the partnership between McLaren and Honda did not go well, the latter is more optimistic about working with Toro Rosso and Marko thinks the future is promising as well. “We contacted Honda and did some of our own research too. And from what we learned, we have an optimistic view of the future,” he said.
“We saw both McLarens in the top 10 in Singapore, we see an engine that is developing, and we know what is going on in the background. Honda has the financial potential, the necessary infrastructure, one of the most modern factories with corresponding test rigs and a complete commitment to formula one and winning in a partnership.”
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Still, Red Bull would like to keep its options a little more open. The racing team recently announced a new title sponsorship deal with Aston Martin and both groups have expressed the desire that the latter become more involved in Formula One.
“It’s something we’re absolutely open to,” Christian Horner, Red Bull Team Principal, told Autosport when asked if Red Bull would be open to taking an Aston Martin engine. “First things first, we need to see what the regulations are and whether it is viable for a manufacturer like Aston to be able to buddy up with another third party in a bid to produce a competitive engine.”
These are the two chief things in the way of Aston Martin entering F1 as an engine supplier: whether the new 2021 engine rules are amenable to them and whether it will work with another brand to build an independent engine, as Aston Martin currently does not make its own. The engine in the Valkyrie hypercar that was co-designed with Red Bull, for instance, was a collaborative effort between specialist engine companies Cosworth and Ricardo.
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News Source: Autosport (subscription required)