Red Bull Racing and AlphaTauri have both been dealt a heavy blow. Japanese maker Honda took to social media and shared the news that the 2021 season will be their last in F1.
It is absolutely surprising considering how Honda has been moderately successful in its short stint. Regardless, Red Bull GmbH, who is the parent company of the two F1 teams, is now on the lookout for a new power unit supplier.
It is not what Christian Horner would have expected, but the teams might have to return to Renault. The reason for this might have to do something with the sport’s regulations.
Apparently, if a team cannot strike a deal for an engine supplier, the onus lies on the marque with the lowest number of clients to supply the same.
With Ferrari and Mercedes having two and three customer teams respectively, Renault remains as the solitary alternative. Furthermore, Red Bull would not want to deal with Mercedes owing to their direct rivalry. As for Ferrari, their power units have massively degraded since last year, leading to poor results.
If this move does materialize, then the sequential events would be interesting. Red Bull achieved all the four championships in the last decade with Renault. But after a few years of underperformance, they ended their partnership with the French manufacturer.
There is no love lost between the two team principals, Christian Horner and Cyril Abiteboul. Both have engaged in a public war of words in the past, criticizing the approaches and comments.
However, both Red Bull and AlphaTauri welcomed this decision of Honda. Plus, they made their feelings clear through official statements on their social media handles.
Red Bull’s post on Twitter was captioned, “Following the decision by @HondaRacingF1 to withdraw from #F1 after the 2021 season, we would like to thank them for their exceptional efforts as a power unit supplier and look forward to continued success for the remainder of 2020 and 2021.”
The future of young Japanese driver Yuki Tsunoda is of additional interest. He was rumored to be linked with Daniil Kvyat’s AlphaTauri seat. But with Honda’s exit and a new supplier incoming, there are doubts on whether he would make the step up to Formula 1 just yet.
The next few months promise to be a tumultuous time for Red Bull GmbH. Finding a power unit supplier is no piece of cake, and at the same time, decisions have to be made quickly. For the time being, it is a wait and watch scenario for all supporters of Red Bull and F1.