Honda and Red Bull Group have agreed on a programme of cooperation focused on a variety of motorsport activities, including Formula 1, young driver development and other forms of motorsport, as well as encompassing marketing and branding initiatives.
As announced on 2 October 2020, Honda will conclude its Formula 1 project as a Power Unit supplier at the end of the 2021 season. It will make use of all the experience, human resources and technical know-how it has gained in the past seven years of the hybrid era to help reach Honda’s goal of achieving carbon neutrality throughout the company.
Motorsport has always been part of Honda’s DNA and the company will continue to strive to be the best in every category it enters, while at the same time promoting the values and excitement of the sport.
On the specific matter of the Honda Formula 1 PU, Red Bull Powertrains will have the right to use Honda IP from 2022, as a support for their F1 programmes with Red Bull Racing and Scuderia AlphaTauri teams. This is as a result of the request made to Honda by Red Bull following our announcement that we are leaving the sport.
●The three key points of the agreement between the two companies are:
- 1)Red Bull Powertrains has the right to use Honda’s IP relating to the Power Unit.
- 2)Honda will support Red Bull Powertrains in building the 2022 PU and also provide trackside and race operation support from Japan throughout the 2022 season, and from 2023, Red Bull Powertrains will take responsibility for all manufacturing and servicing of Red Bull Racing and Scuderia AlphaTauri’s engines.
- 3)Employees of Honda Racing Development UK (Milton Keynes) will become employees of Red Bull Powertrains.
In addition, Red Bull and Honda will continue to work together on their respective young driver programmes, the Red Bull Junior Team and Honda Formula Dream Project, to further promote the growth of motorsport in Japan, with the ultimate goal of getting more Japanese drivers into top-line global motorsport, as has happened with Yuki Tsunoda in Formula 1.
There will also be additional cooperation between the two companies dealing with various forms of motorsport and indeed other sports and marketing activities. As usual, the aim of this particular aspect of the project is to promote Honda’s wide range of mobility products to a wider audience.
In an operational change, all these four-wheeled motorsport activities will now come under the umbrella of HRC (Honda Racing Corporation), the company that has so successfully run Honda’s motorcycle racing activities for many years. This is to strengthen Honda’s motorsport operation and branding, making it more efficient integrating the technologies and experiences we have gained from both four-wheel and motorcycle motorsport activities. Specifically, HRC will support the Red Bull Group’s Formula 1 activity in 2022, taking charge of all the above-mentioned points.
It is Honda’s stated aim to continue to allow its customers to fulfil their motorsport dreams thanks to the efforts of everyone at Team Honda, meaning the drivers, riders, engineers and mechanics involved in so many different championships around the world.
■Christian Horner, Red Bull Racing Honda CEO and Team Principal,
“Red Bull’s collaboration with Honda has been enormously successful and while our relationship in Formula 1 is changing, neither of us wish for that to be the end of the story. We are very pleased that our ambitious and exciting Red Bull Powertrains project will be strongly supported by Honda, technically and operationally, in 2022 and this will help ensure that Red Bull’s transition to the status of chassis and power unit manufacturer is seamless. Equally as exciting is the news that our collaboration with Honda will extend to a variety of motorsport activities, from driver development to other racing disciplines and even across the wider sporting world. This stretch of Honda’s Formula 1 voyage is coming to an end but together we are embarking on a new and fascinating journey.”
■Koji Watanabe, Chief Officer for Brand and Communication Operations, Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
“I’m glad that we have reached an agreement with Red Bull Group covering all the details of the IP rights for the F1 Power Unit and in this way, Honda can still contribute to the motor racing world. We are now working hard to strengthen HRC’s structure, so that it can ensure our fans will be able to continue to enjoy Honda’s role in all types of motorsport.”