Helmut Marko admits that Honda's extension of their partnership with Red Bull until the end of 2025 has saved the team from potentially facing some problems.
Honda officially exited Formula 1 at the end of 2021, but agreed to continue to provide technical assistance to the Red Bull Powertrains department with the current engines being raced by Red Bull and AlphaTauri.
This had provided for support until the end of 2023, but it was announced earlier in August that the agreement has now been extended until the end of 2025.
Following this, Red Bull Powertrains will manufacture their own power units in line with new engine regulations set to be introduced in 2026.
Marko relieved by extended Honda and Red Bull agreement
Without the extended agreement, Red Bull would have had to manufacture their own engines from 2023, and Marko acknowledges that this could have caused some issues.
"Thank God there has been a change of policy with Honda," Marko told Motorsport-total.com.
"Originally we would have had to assemble the engines ourselves from 2023. But you need spare parts for that, and 90 per cent of the suppliers are in Japan.
"Thank God that has been revised, because that would have been a problem technically, logistically and also linguistically. Now Honda are making the engines until the end of 2025."
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The role of Red Bull Powertrains
Under the current arrangement, Honda entirely manufacture the engines, which is important for maintaining Red Bull Powertrains' status as a new entrant in 2026.
"We get [the engines] sealed [from Honda], we can't look inside," Marko explained.
"That's also important for our newcomer status in 2026. They deliver it in a box and if there is any problem, only Honda mechanics are allowed to work on the engine."
In the meantime, the team at Red Bull Powertrains are busy preparing for the new engine regulations that will come into effect in four years' time.
"There are already 300 employees at the moment," Marko said.
"They are only working towards the 2026 regulations. If a new manufacturer comes, we can cooperate. They could use the facilities we have, which is another bonus point.
"If a new manufacturer comes, they immediately have a new engine factory with six functioning test benches. Everything there is the finest of the finest."
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