A n the end everything went very quickly. Red Bull actually wanted to announce the decision on the engine partner for the coming season at the home game in Spielberg at the end of June. Now, according to Renault's request, confirmation came before the race in Paul Ricard. The French should not like the decision. Red Bull signed a contract with Honda for the delivery of the drive units for 2019 and 2020.
According to the regulations, the deadline for engine selection would have expired in mid-May. The candidates Renault and Honda gave Red Bull a little extra time to think it over. Before making its decision, Red Bull wanted to check how the two development stages of the engine manufacturers in Canada are doing.
Honda finds 20 hp with engine upgrade
The Montreal scale apparently tipped the balance in favor of Honda. The Japanese found 20 hp. That made the Toro Rosso three tenths faster. By jumping back and forth between the old and the new engine at Pierre Gasly, the difference between the two specifications was easy to read.
Renault had also mobilized 20 hp and gained 3 tenths since the start of the season with the combustion engine alone. But that only applies to the works team. Only 12 hp arrived at Red Bull. The plant uses different fuel and oil than the customers. The next petrol development from Red Bull supplier Mobil has to be adjusted to Renault's new engine specification on the test bench. 'We cannot use our new fuel before the Hungarian GP', confirmed Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko.
Red Bull flexiblefor Porsche entry
The gossip is just one of the reasons that spoke for Honda in the end. Honda can concentrate fully on mobile in its engine development. Toro Rosso also uses the fuel from the US company. At Honda, Red Bull is practically a works team. The deal is financially more lucrative.
The Japanese have now also created structures that will free them from their isolation. The former Mercedes man Axel Wendorff helps with the organization, the Swiss horsepower magician Mario Illien with the development of the internal combustion engine. Honda has also brought some engineers with Formula 1 experience back into their team.
Honda has meanwhile more or less under control of stability. The problem with the MGU-H at the Australian GP was quickly resolved. But Renault had some weaknesses. The first penalties for Daniel Ricciardo's car are expected before the summer break at Hockenheim.
Double development potential
'We have always made such decisions relatively dispassionately,' explained team principal Christian Horner. “We always have only one question in mind: Can we increase our performance with it? After careful considerations and analyzes, we are sure that the team with Honda is on the right track. We are already looking forward to hunting for the biggest Formula 1 trophies with Honda. '
' We are very impressed by Honda's involvement in Formula 1, the great progress they have made recently with Toro Rosso and their ambition, which is comparable to ours. The relationship with two teams has enormous potential. Honda gets access to all data from both racing teams. That doubles the possibilities for more effective and more powerful further development. ”
The duration of the new deal is not surprising either. After two years with the new partner, Red Bull would be free for the next change. The sparrows whistle from the roofs that Porsche is already in the starting blocks. After Le Mans and Formula E, the Zuffenhausen-based company is planning to enter the premier class from 2021.
Until thenthe world championship team will continue to be officially called “Aston Martin Red Bull Racing” from 2010 to 2013. The term “Tag Heuer”, which Red Bull has currently given its Renault engines, will, however, be dropped in the future. The new drive will of course be called Honda in the normal way.