Red Bull confirms switch to Honda power for 2019 F1 season
Red Bull will be supplied by Honda power units in Formula 1 for the 2019 and 2020 seasons, the two parties confirmed on Tuesday.
Red Bull has been powered by Renault since 2007, winning four straight double titles with the manufacturer from 2010-13, but their relationship deteriorated in the hybrid era.
Red Bull sought a divorce mid-2015 but was unable to find an alternative partner and remained with Renault on a new deal that saw its power units rebadged under the TAG Heuer guise.
Honda, meanwhile, returned to Formula 1 in 2015 with McLaren but reliability and performance issues compromised its prospects.
A move to a new power unit concept for 2017 initially proved fraught and McLaren ran out of patience, with the team ninth in the standings for a second year out of three.
Toro Rosso instead took up McLaren’s abandoned supply of Honda power units and the operation has established itself in the midfield this year, with Pierre Gasly finishing in fourth place at the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Red Bull’s continued use of Renault power and Toro Rosso’s Honda supply meant the senior team was in a position to compare data – and it has chosen the Japanese marque for 2019.
For Honda, it will mark the first time since its return that it will supply two teams, though it had initially expected to partner both McLaren and Sauber for 2018 prior to the termination of those respective deals.
The team will continue to be officially known as Aston Martin Red Bull Racing.
Attention is now likely to switch to the future of current Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo, who is out of contract at the end of the year.