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Red Bull set for power unit boost after Honda u-turn

Red Bull set for power unit boost after Honda u-turn

F1 News

Red Bull set for power unit boost after Honda u-turn

Red Bull set for power unit boost after Honda u-turn
GPFans Staff

Red Bull is set to continue to receive a supply of power units direct from Honda for the next four years following what has been described as a "rethinking" of plans by the Japanese manufacturer.

Honda exited F1 at the end of last year in order to focus its resources on developing alternative energy forms, with a primary goal to become carbon neutral by 2050.

With a freeze on power units from this season, Honda at least agreed to offer engineering support to Red Bull for the coming campaign.

For the following three years, the new Red Bull Powertrains division would then take on the duties of maintaining the PU, in tandem with developing its own engine for when new rules come into force from 2026.

Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko, however, has confirmed a change of plan.

"We have now found a completely different solution than the one originally envisaged," said Marko, in an interview with Austrian magazine Autorevue.

"The engines will be manufactured in Japan through to the end of 2025. We won't touch them at all anymore.

"That is, the rights and all those things will stay with the Japanese, which is important for 2026 because it makes us newcomers."

Verstappen victory key to change of Honda heart

GPFans understands that while there is an agreement in place between Honda and Red Bull, the details have yet to be finalised.

Highlighting the reason behind the change, though, Marko added: "In the course of our ever-greater successes, a certain rethinking emerged among the Japanese.

"It also means they can, of course, use the battery knowledge for their electrification phase.

"At first, it was planned they would only make our engines for 2022. It has now been decided that this will continue until 2025, which is of course a huge advantage for us.

"As a result, we only have to make fine adjustments and calibrations."

Despite the changes to the aerodynamic regulations for this season, Marko has no doubt Honda's u-turn will at least allow Red Bull to remain competitive in the power unit department for the next four seasons.

"A prerequisite for this agreement was that engine development was frozen because the first phase would have been that we do everything ourselves," said Marko.

"That's why we started in Milton Keynes and dutifully bought into [dyno supplier] AVL. The plant goes into full operation in May/June.

"For the final decision that we do it ourselves, the premise was that everything is frozen. Because otherwise, we wouldn't have had a chance with this complex thing."

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