Red Bull Racing’s 2019 Formula One Season to be an ‘Interim’ Year
Team principal Christian Horner says that expectations surrounding Red Bull Racing’s 2019 Formula One season should remain moderate, as it will be an interim year for the team to build a new relationship with Honda.
“I certainly expect that the first year will be an interim year for us,” he told Italy’s La Gazzetta dello Sport. “Compared to the competition, the necessary steps still have to be taken at Honda.”
After enjoying four consecutive world championships from 2010 to 2013 with Renault, Red Bull’s relationship with its engine supplier has been strained, as the French manufacturer has consistently failed to provide V6 hybrid power units up to the standard of its competitors.
Two months ago, Red Bull marked the end of a 12-year run with Renault by announcing it would officially switch to Honda power from 2019. In 2018, Honda had powered Toro Rosso cars and managed to claim several top 10 finishes.
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Red Bull had lost faith in Renault’s ability to deliver a competitive package. “We pay multi-millions of pounds for these engines and for a first class, or state-of-the-art product, and you can see it’s quite clearly some way below that,” he told Sky Sports F1 on live TV during the 2018 Hungarian GP, after Max Verstappen had retired from an engine problem.
Based on its form at Toro Rosso and the potential the Japanese manufacturer represents, Horner believes Honda is the best way forward, though results aren’t likely to come immediately — in Formula One, they almost never do.
When Red Bull first joined the sport, it took four years before it developed a truly good package, though it’s not going to wait that long to win races with Honda. “I expect that we will be truly ready in 2020,” Horner concluded.
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