Horner: We should be grateful to Honda

Red Bull power unit rebranded Honda RBPTChristian Horner insists Red Bull are grateful to Honda for leaving Formula 1 because that gave them the push to start their own power unit facility.

Honda decided to leave F1 at the end of the 2021 season, which prompted Red Bull to start their own power unit facility, Red Bull Powertrains, and then join forces with Ford for the upcoming new power unit era that starts in 2026.

Honda then decided to return to the sport from 2026 onwards and chose to partner with Aston Martin, something Max Verstappen believes is a shame, while his boss insists its positive.

Facing the media in Monaco, Horner was asked how he felt about the Honda developments; he said: “It was certainly an expensive decision [Red Bull Powertrains], but look, I think for us, for the long term prospects of Red Bull, we’ve outgrown being a customer.

Red Bull having power unit on site an advantage

“For us to have the power unit on site, on campus, integrated fully with chassis and the synergies that creates, with engine and chassis engineers sitting next to each other, I think for us, for the long term, the advantages are significant,” he explained.

“And we would not have made that jump had it not been for Honda’s withdrawal, so in many respects, Honda, we should be grateful for giving us that push to create our own engine facility and the jobs that it’s created and provided and then, of course, the partnership that we have with Ford that’s particularly exciting for the future.”

Horner insists Red Bull are committed to the direction they took with their power unit plans; he said: “The commitment, obviously, from Red Bull and the shareholders to the project. Would we have made the same decision knowing what Honda’s decision is today? Absolutely not.

“But we’ve made it and we’re committed to it and the more we’ve got involved, the more benefit we see to the group long term,” the Briton concluded.