Honda vows equal treatment for Red Bull's F1 teams

Honda has stressed that it will treat Red Bull and Toro Rosso equally in Formula 1 this season, in terms of resources and development.

Red Bull has joined Toro Rosso in being supplied by Honda, marking the first time in over a decade that the Japanese manufacturer has acted as a partner for multiple teams.

Red Bull is ostensibly regarded as Toro Rosso’s senior team and last year the Faenza-based squad occasionally compromised its own prospects to assist Honda’s development path.

Formula 1 regulations stipulate that power unit suppliers must provide equal equipment to partners – and Honda has outlined that at Grand Prix weekends it will retain this equality elsewhere.

“It [providing the same parts] is the most logical method and one which Honda feels is best, not to mention that the regulations state we must supply all teams equally,” said Honda F1 Technical Director Toyoharu Tanabe.

“But it’s not just a case of supplying the two teams with the same technical hardware.

“We will also treat them equally in terms of the resources we allocate to manage our operations and on the development side.

“This should be quite a straightforward procedure as the two teams are part of the same family and because we can work with Red Bull Technology.”

Honda, having returned to F1 in 2015, overhauled its power unit concept for 2017, when it partnered McLaren, and has stuck with that same design for 2019.

It means this season is the first time it has entered year three with the same concept, and Tanabe reckons last season’s progress provides encouragement for the coming campaign.

“With no real changes to the rules regarding the power unit, apart from being allowed to use 5 kilos more fuel per car in the race, our development work has really been a continuation of what we have been doing over the past year,” he said.

“Naturally, with no racing over the winter, the work in Japan and Milton Keynes has stepped up in preparation for the new season.

“We have been looking at all areas of the power unit, such as ICE, ERS and Energy Store.

“At Honda, we feel we made better progress than indicated simply by the results.

“We moved forward during the course of the year and this is encouraging for the 2019 season.”

Toro Rosso boss Franz Tost outlined earlier that Honda's alignment with Red Bull will boost his team's chances in Formula 1 this year.