Helmut Marko made a dramatic revelation, that Honda will continue to supply the Red Bull Formula 1 team with power units until 2025.
The Japanese manufacturer announced that they would pull out of F1 at the end of the 2021, and would supply – against a fee – power units to Red Bull in 2022 along with consulting services, as the energy drinks outfit build their Red Bull Powertrains division which was initially planned to take over the whole power-unit aspect of the team’s activities from 2023 onwards.
The plan was for Red Bull Powertrains to simultaneously work – between 2023 and 2025 – on developing a new power-unit as per the new regulations set to debut in 2026.
Honda’s F1 Chief Masashi Yamamoto has previously claimed that he expected for Honda to return to the sport, but it seems the Japanese company will not fully leave yet and will – based on Helmut Marko’s claims – continue supplying Red Bull with power-units until 2025.
Honda’s change of plans
Speaking to Autorevue magazine, Marko said: “We have now also found a completely different solution to the one originally envisaged.
“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,” he explained.
It seems that Max Verstappen F1 Title triumph in 2021, with Honda power at the back of his RB16B, seems to have changed Honda’s initial F1 plans.
“In the course of our ever greater successes, a certain rethinking has taken place among the Japanese,” Marko revealed. “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,” he went on. “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,” the Austrian explained.
Marko also spoke of the team’s plans for their new power-unit facility and said: “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,” the 78-year-old concluded.
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