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Red Bull-Honda "powerful combination" a sad loss for F1 - Roberts

Red Bull-Honda "powerful combination" a sad loss for F1 - Roberts

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Red Bull-Honda "powerful combination" a sad loss for F1 - Roberts

Red Bull-Honda "powerful combination" a sad loss for F1 - Roberts

Williams acting team principal Simon Roberts believes Formula 1 will lose "a powerful combination" when Honda ends its power unit partnership with Red Bull.

The Japanese manufacturer's decision to quit F1 for the fourth time in its history sent reverberations through the sport that will likely continue to be felt for some time.

It has left Red Bull and AlphaTauri in search of another power unit provider, with Christian Horner confirming a decision has to be taken by the end of the year, and that both teams effectively come as a package and will not be supplied by different manufacturers.

Remarking on Honda's decision, Roberts said: “I’m saddened by it. Am I shocked? I’m not really sure, but I kind of thought with Red Bull and Honda together that was potentially a powerful combination. They’ve got deep-rooted reasons that they understand.

"I did work closely with some of the Honda guys and I really like them. They’re good people, good engineers and the sport needs competition in the teams and in the engine suppliers, so it’s very sad that they’ve felt the need to do that.

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“I think we’ll all miss having these guys around. Their dedication, commitment and professionalism go a long, long way, but it also underlines how hard it is to create these powertrains."

Honda's primary reason for its withdrawal was to focus on its own carbon neutrality initiatives, despite F1's ambition to reach a zero-carbon state by 2030, and the need to switch resources across to that programme.

Roberts feels F1 should have done more to promote the current power units given the technology behind them, their improvements over the six-and-a-half years since their introduction and the crossover with the road car industry.

Believing the sport has let itself down in that regard, and so arguably paving the way for Honda's exit, Roberts added: “Everyone has talked about how we probably, as a sport and as teams, haven’t done enough to emphasise how great these engines are in terms of their efficiency.

"It is very easy to take that for granted and we shouldn’t. There are years and years of development, and this is really leading-edge science and engineering in these power units."

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Mon 30 Nov

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