When all of this talk about Honda moving to Toro Rosso (STR) and Renault moving to McLaren along with a few driver swaps for good measure—Sainz to Renault—I said on our podcast and several posts that there is a part of me that thinks if Honda do come on song, this relationship could mean a bespoke supplier for Red Bull and Toro Rosso. It was a big “If” but as we argued in our podcast on Monday, sometimes new relationships can spark new progress.
It seems now, according to Autosport, that Red Bull may not have the luxury of waiting to know if Honda will come on song with STR in 2018 before committing to the engine in 2019. The reports suggests there was some heartburn over the STR-to-Honda deal and this has Renault less than interested in renewing its engine supply deal to Red Bull. This would mean that Red Bull Racing may have no choice but to move to Honda in 2019.
Daniel Ricciardo has commented that this move may determine where he goes and Max Verstappen says it shouldn’t impact him but I am still thinking that Red Bull could turn the Honda relationship into something special. It is what Ron Dennis wanted to do at McLaren but again, that’s a big “If”.
The article says that Ferrari and Mercedes won’t supply Red Bull but I’ll have to go back and check as I thought the FIA made it clear that they must supply other teams. How is it that Ferrari and Mercedes, with this new engine format, can still choose which teams they will supply and not? Did the FIA not make a ruling on this?
There is also the rumor that Porsche may purchase Red Bull Racing in 2021 and that would mean a short Honda relationship if that were to happen.
Hat Tip: Autosport