A week ago there was some initial thoughts that the new engine regulations might find both VW and Red Bull aligned in their desired format moving forward. That alignment was considered possible cause that the two might become partners since Red Bull is now funding their own engine program. It was all speculation but you could see why people connected those dots.
It now seems that Red Bull might be more apt to continue working with Honda even after the manufacturer pulls out of F1 at the end of this season.
According to BBC’s Mr. Benson, Red Bull have secured the intellectual property of Honda’s F1 engine and they will continue to work with Honda’s UK-based F1 engineers through 2023. After that, those engineers will move over to Red Bull’s engine program and the two companies will continue to cooperate on common causes such as Japanese drivers in F1 etc.
It makes sense, despite the VW rumors, because if Red Bull did spend cash on the Honda IP, then investing in its evolution would be logical. This leaves a question mark as to who VW might be interested in working with if, and that’s a big “if”, they decided to enter F1.
Williams, Sauber/Alfa Romeo, and possibly even McLaren might be a target but the latter is certainly enjoying a much better season with Mercedes power than they have in the recent past and to be fair, McLaren have a history of winning with Mercedes power.
The logical choice might be Williams as their team boss, Jost Capito, came from VW. The idea of having their own engine supplier might appeal to Williams but certainly how those costs are allocated is going to be a real key here. Perhaps VW’s presence at the last engine regulation discussion were prodded by Jost?
Time will tell but for now, Red Bull looks set for a longer Honda relationship.