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Helmut Marko

Marko: Red Bull had to protect F1 future after Honda withdrawal

The Red Bull driver boss revealed some difficulties in the relationship between the team and former power unit supplier Honda.

Verstappen Great Britain 2022 Silverstone
To news overview © XPBimages

Helmut Marko says Red Bull needed to "safeguard" their Formula 1 future after the withdrawal of partner Honda in 2021.

In October 2020, Honda announced it would withdraw from F1 and its Red Bull technical alliance at the end of 2021 to focus on their electric road car programme.

The Japanese manufacturer provided some support to the newly-created Red Bull Powertrains in 2022, and has declared an interest in the 2026 power unit regulations with the FIA.

This does not confirm a return, but as RacingNews365.com previously wrote, it is designed to give them flexibility and a seat in negotiations about the direction of F1.

They are also committed to the spending and research restrictions as F1 heads towards renewable fuels and increased electrical power from 2026.

However, before this renewed interest, Marko has explained that Red Bull were left needing to protect itself.

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

Marko explains Red Bull decision

Following Honda's withdrawal at the end of 2021, Red Bull were left with no other options for a supply of power units.

They would not go back to Renault after the strained relationship between 2014 and 2018, while Mercedes and Ferrari would not supply a direct competitor.

This left Red Bull either needing to do their own power units or face withdrawal from F1, as they opted for the former.

"It's a tense situation that has a history," Marko explained to Auto Motor und Sport.

"When Honda announced its withdrawal two years ago, we would have had nothing at all - Honda didn't even want to supply the existing engine.

"We were able to gradually transform that into the cooperation as we see it today.

"At the same time, to safeguard the future, we set up our own engine plant - which is state of the art with the latest test benches and measuring instruments. We have the same commitment from Honda in Sakura.

"When it came to deciding who would do what from 2026, some things got difficult, it was thought that Honda would only do the electrical part, but we couldn't come to an agreement.

"A decision [on future collaboration] will be made soon."

As part of Red Bull forming RBPT, a power unit development freeze was introduced until the new rules kick in for 2026, which has attracted Audi and Porsche, until a proposed link-up for the latter with Red Bull was called off.

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