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Christian Horner

Horner: We've achieved more with Honda than McLaren

Red Bull has enjoyed unparalleled success with Honda as their power unit supplier, but did Team Principal Christian Horner always know it would be the case?

Verstappen donuts Abu Dhabi 2023
To news overview © Red Bull Content Pool

Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner believes the team has managed to achieve more with Honda than McLaren during their glory years in the late 1980s in Formula 1.

The McLaren and Honda partnership reaped in four Constructors' Championship between 1988 and 1991, as well as four Drivers' Championships with Ayrton Senna and Alan Prost.

Red Bull's 2022 year was a throwback to the famous McLaren MP4/4, which won 15 out of the 16 races in 1988 which gave them a win percentage of 93.8%.

By comparison, Red Bull's record of 21 wins in 22 races put them up to 95.5% making them highest in the all-time percentage of wins.

"Since our first race in 2019 where we scored a podium on our debut and then three wins, we've now achieved more victories for Honda than McLaren during its halcyon days," Horner told media, including RacingNews365.

"Max [Verstappen] is the most winning Honda driver ever and it's been a great partnership. They have been a big part of what we've been able to achieve the last few years and particularly this year."

Horner: It was obvious Honda was the right route

The decision to switch to Honda power units in the hybrid era was seen as a gamble for Red Bull, following the Japanese-makers messy fallout with McLaren between 2015 and 2016.

After Red Bull's partnership with Renault collapsed due to its lack of interest in investing in its power unit department, the team decided to switch and effectively become a works Honda outfit in 2019.

"McLaren had turned down Honda, Sauber had walked away from a deal with Honda, so strategically for us it seemed sensible to place Honda with Toro Rosso, then it gave Red Bull Racing the ability to evaluate versus our current partner," said Horner.

"There was a decision point in June of 2018, where we had a crossroads and had to make a decision.

"Based on a commitment that we could see, on the spirit, on the resource that Honda were applying, it was obvious to us that the Honda route was the right route to go."

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