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F1 | Honda and Red Bull to prolong their supply relationship until 2025

"The initial plan has now changed", revealed Red Bull's Formula One advisor Helmut Marko. "Honda will continue to supply complete power units to Red Bull and Alpha Tauri until 2025".

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F1 | Honda and Red Bull to prolong their supply relationship until 2025
Fuente imagen: twitter.com/@redbullracing

Albeit Japanese manufacturer Honda officially ceased its involvement in Formula One at the end of 2021, they will continue to partner up with Red Bull for the development of power units and fuel innovation.

The original strategy as announced late last year was that the new Red Bull Powertrains division would take complete power units from Honda, with full engineering support at the tracks, only in 2022.

However, it has emerged that the plan has now changed. The starting idea was that, once RBP had got up to speed it would build the engines from Honda parts at its Milton Keynes facility beginning in 2023 while simultaneously working on its own project for the new F1 rules that come into force in 2026.

Yet, Red Bull’s motorsport advisor Helmut Marko has revealed that the plan has been reviewed, and the intention now is that Honda will continue to supply complete engines from Japan to Red Bull and AlphaTauri until the end of 2025.

The change has been partly made to guarantee that RBP will still be a new participant when its own engine is introduced in 2026.

This will enable the team to benefits from the concessions that are being discussed mainly to help encourage the VW Group to finally commit to F1, such as a higher power unit budget cap.

It's understood that details of the new arrangements have yet to be finalized, and it's not clear yet whether the engines will still be badged as Hondas until 2025, although such a move would be logical given the desire to ensure that RBP is a new participant in 2026.

"We have now also found a completely different solution to the one originally envisaged," Marko told Autorevue magazine.

"The engines will be manufactured in Japan until 2025, we will not touch them at all. That means that the rights and all these things will remain with the Japanese, which is important for 2026 because it makes us newcomers.

Marko indicated that the achievement of a World Title was a decisive factor in convincing Honda to remain closer to F1 than had been programmed.

"In the course of our ever-greater successes, a certain rethinking has taken place among the Japanese. And also that they could of course use the battery knowledge for their electrification phase.

"It was initially planned that they would only make our motors for 2022. Now it has been decided that this will continue until 2025, which is, of course, a huge advantage for us. This means we only have to make fine adjustments and calibrations".

Regarding the building up of the RBP facility, he added: "The prerequisite for this agreement was that engine development was frozen. Because the first phase would have been that we do everything ourselves. That's why we started in Milton Keynes and dutifully bought in from [dyno supplier] AVL.

"The plant will go into full operation in May/June. The final decision to do it ourselves was conditional on everything being frozen. Because otherwise, we wouldn't have had a chance with this complex thing."

Meanwhile, it has emerged that former Honda F1 boss Masashi Yamamoto has left the Japanese company to set up his own consultancy in order to provide a bridge between Red Bull and Japan, further extending the continuity between the partners.

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