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'Chinese wall' between Honda and Red Bull after Ford deal

Christian Horner has shed light on how the Red Bull/Honda partnership will function until they part ways in 2025.

A "Chinese wall" will be in place to ensure Red Bull and engine partner Honda do not share Formula 1 information before their 2025 split, says Christian Horner. The World Champions revealed the livery of the RB19 at a glitzy New York launch , with the actual car expected at a later date for drivers Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez. At the event, it was also announced that Ford will be returning to F1 in 2026 as Red Bull's engine supplier, with AlphaTauri also set to receive Blue Oval backing as the junior team. In the 2023-25 seasons, Honda will continue to provide Red Bull with support and advertising on the car, but do not currently have any partnerships for the 2026 season, when new power unit regulations will be implemented. It is an unusual situation in F1, but Horner is clear that Honda and Red Bull Powertrains will be completely separate, with steps in place to protect both parties.

"A Chinese wall" between Honda and Red Bull

"We have an agreement and great relationship with Honda until the end of 2025," Horner told select media, including RacingNews365.com , at the New York launch event. "There's no crossover of intellectual property, all the Honda engines are produced in Japan and everything on the RB Powertrains side is very much focused on 2026. "So there is a clear Chinese wall between the two activities, but we're obviously going to be working with Honda over the next few years to achieve the best results that we can. "They are fully committed, so it is very straightforward, and the relationship with Honda conclude at the end of 2025. "We have a homologated engine, so it's effectively frozen. "Honda supply that engine, they own all of the IP, so we don't see inside the engine or anything like that. We will be doing our best with Honda to try and defend and achieve further race wins and championships."

In-house can't be underestimated

Honda originally partnered with Red Bull for the 2019 season following a year at AlphaTauri after the McLaren deal was ended in '17. Despite claiming the 2021 title with Max Verstappen, they elected to withdraw but have signed up to the '26 regulations to ensure they can be a part of discussions about the rules framework. However, Horner is bullish about the fact that Ford are set to enter as Red Bull continue to ramp up their in-house facilities in Milton Keynes. "The great thing about 2026 is by having everything on site, we have everything under one roof, one campus," he said. "We've got chassis engineers sitting next to engine engineers and so the integration of the chassis and engine is totally at one and that shouldn't be underestimated."

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