Despite accumulating five race victories, Honda decided to pull out of Formula 1 after the 2021 season. Because of that, it left both the Red Bull and AlphaTauri without a power unit for the new season. They contemplated a search for a new supplier or to leave the sport altogether.
For Red Bull fans out there, you can now breathe a sigh of relief. The team secured a deal with Honda that sees them use and develop Honda powertrains from 2022-2025. The two-year deal also comes after the Formula 1 commission unanimously voted to freeze all engine development from 2022 onwards.
To accommodate the deal, the team formed a new company conveniently called Red Bull Powertrains Limited. It will operate out of the team's home base in Milton Keynes (England).
While the formation of a dedicated engine department is a significant one, Red Bull acknowledges the challenges this new endeavor presents. Red Bull Motorsport Advisor Dr. Helmut Marko had this to say, "The establishment of Red Bull Powertrains Limited is a bold move by Red Bull but it is one we have made after careful and detailed consideration. We are aware of the huge commitment required but we believe the creation of this new company is the most competitive option for both teams.”
Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner also added: “This agreement represents a significant step for Red Bull in its Formula 1 journey. We were understandably disappointed when Honda decided to leave the sport as an engine manufacturer, as our relationship yielded immediate success, but we are grateful for their support in facilitating this new agreement.”
It remains to be seen whether the move to develop their engines instead of buying from other manufacturers will be a big step or a miss-step for Red Bull. One thing is for sure, in light of this recent deal Red Bull’s teams are here to stay.