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Red Bull observing Honda amid open 2019 engine deal

  • Published on 23 Dec 2017 15:50
  • comments 6
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Red Bull's Dr Helmut Marko has said that the energy drinks team is watching Honda's engine development very closely. Honda returned to the sport in 2015 in a partnership with McLaren, supplying them with power units.

However, after three disastrous seasons, the partnership came to an end. Earlier in the year, Honda revealed that it would be running with Toro Rosso in 2018, Red Bull's junior team. The senior squad has been heavily linked with Honda for 2019, with Marko admitting that all options are on the table.

"We are very happy with the Toro Rosso and Honda cooperation. Toro Rosso will put all its efforts into making a competitive chassis," Marko said. "We do believe in Honda, otherwise we wouldn’t have made that deal. I am very impressed with the facilities that they have and their determination to win.

“It is just a matter of bringing everything together and we believe that this moment will arrive sooner than everybody is expecting," he added. "We will observe very closely. Beyond 2018, everything is open."

2017 was not the ideal year for Red Bull, who hoped for a return to the front of the grid. Let down by Renault's power unit, Marko believes that if the French manufacturer makes improvements next year, Red Bull will bring a challenge to Mercedes.

"It should be better if we have a reliable power unit, and if we have more horsepower then we should come nearer to Mercedes, so it really could be the scenario that Wolff saw in his crystal ball. It will be an exciting season, that is for sure."

Replies (6)

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  • An interesting observation I made while studying retirements in 2017: Alonso had 11 retirements during 2017, wheras Vandoorne only had 6. Out of these, I can recall 2 that werent engine related for Alonso, and maybe one for Vandoorne (Monaco wasnt engine related right?), but even then its 9 vs 5.

    I actually believe this statement from Marko has been posted here before, but that aside, I could see it happen. Its hardly news that the Red Bull-Renault relation is strained at best, and it wouldnt surprise me if they'd be willing to switch if Honda as little as matches Renault in terms of power.

    • + 0
    • Dec 23 2017 - 16:29
  • I hope Honda comes good. But I have lost all faith in Honda. Too many disappointments with McLaren. I think they will get it right if they stay in for several years. But not in 2019

    • + 0
    • Dec 23 2017 - 17:41
  • It would really be a modern dayfairy tale if TR fights for podiums next year. I sincerely hope this is possible. Also, can't wait to see Alonso's face

    • + 0
    • Dec 23 2017 - 18:59
    • boudy

      Posts: 1,168

      Toro Rosso will not be fighting for podiums since their drivers lineup will not have reached that level yet. Rookies need time to settle into an f1 car. Both aren't on the podium level yet. But they might be around points.

      • + 1
      • Dec 23 2017 - 23:40
  • Kean

    Posts: 692

    Since Alonso is the biggest jinx F1 has ever seen, it wouldn't surprise me one bit if Honda builds a functioning and fast enough PU for next year. Even so I find it very hard to believe that they will be able to match the horsepower of Mercedes or Ferrari, perhaps Renault. But will they have sorted their problems of fuel consumption? Also, Toro Rosso have admitted that they are having a tough time "fitting" the PU to their car, so the PU/Car package will likely not be optimal. But they could get a lucky podium next year, just look at Stroll's podium this year. And for 2019 we could see a pretty strong partnership between Honda and RBR, and McLaren will be left in the midfield with all the other customers and Alonso will be ripping his hair out by the roots.

    • + 0
    • Dec 24 2017 - 11:38
    • Yeah, reaching Mercedes wont happen, likely not Ferrari either, but beating Renault is a realistic target. One could argue that they did reach Renault, if we count not having to underclock their units as much as the Renault teams as reaching/beating them, but I digress. Either way, STR wont be fighting for podiums no matter how good the Honda is. Their driver lineup doesnt look very good, and as you say, they wont be able to draw 100% from the unit, but we'll see.

      • + 0
      • Dec 26 2017 - 14:04

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