After a disastrous relationship with McLaren, Honda will provide power for a new Formula One team. Red Bull Racing (RBR) confirmed it will switch from Renault-sourced engines to Honda for the 2019 season.
Motorsport.com first reported on the major shakeup on Monday. The move puts an end to a 12-year relationship between RBR and Renault. The former said the switch to Honda engines will give RBR the best shot at titles once again after 57 grand prix wins with Renault. "After careful consideration and evaluation we are certain this partnership with Honda is the right direction for the team," team principal Christian Horner, said.
The relationship between RBR and Renault began to degrade in recent years as both sides made public digs at one another. However, the two re-upped their supplier contract, which was scheduled to end this year, in 2016. RBR said it has monitored Honda's F1 engines with Toro Rosso, and Horner added that RBR has been impressed by the Japanese make's dedication and drive. Toro Rosso will also continue to run Honda engines.
For Honda, twice as much data will be available between two racing teams, and Honda Motor Company president and representative director Takahiro Hachigo said, "We believe that working with both Toro Rosso and Red Bull Racing will allow us to get closer to our goal of winning races and championships, building two strong partnerships."
The move opens up a new home for Renault with McLaren. After McLaren and Honda agreed to end their partnership early, due to engine reliability issues and other qualms, Renault has stepped in to fill the void.