Although Red Bull Racing has only just completed a full year alongside engine supplier, Honda, there are some grand designs being woven. According to a former racing driver, Jan Lammers, the Red Bull-Honda marriage is now contemplating taking massive steps. He believes that somewhere down the line, Honda may take over the entire F1 operation from Red Bull.
Back in 2015, the Japanese manufacturer returned to Formula One after a span of 9 years, though not as a full-fledged F1 team. Instead, they partnered with McLaren in hopes of bringing back memories of the iconic Prost-Senna era. However, things DEFINITELY did not go to plan.
So, at the end of the 2017 season, both parties agreed that a divorce was the best thing for both of them, and Honda went to Toro Rosso for the coming season. Up until that point, Red Bull’s own partnership with Renault was heading down the highway to hell and the Austrian team was eyeing Honda.
Given their recent track record, the Bulls were a little apprehensive, so they chose Toro Rosso as the guinea pig to see how well the experiment would work. Needless to say, it worked like a dream, and that was enough to convince the sister team to strap on the Honda power unit to their own car.
In 2019, that decision gave Red Bull their dues, with three wins, and two Honda-powered cars on the podium, twice. Further aiding their cause was the all-round development of the power unit to bridge the gap to Ferrari and Mercedes.
Now, for the 2020 season, Toro Rosso will be renamed to Alpha Tauri and Honda seemingly gets a bigger slice of pie. If Honda did carry out its plan, it would throw the doors wide open for Naoki Yamamoto, the two-time Japanese Super Formula champion.
Lammers is of the opinion that eventually, Red Bull will hand over the reins to Honda and Red Bull won’t stick around in Formula 1 for life.
“You cannot expect organizations of this kind (such as Red Bull) to take out a lifelong membership (for Formula 1),” says the sporting director of Circuit Zandvoort to Motorsport.com . “And on the financial side, you also have someone like Dieter Mateschitz, who can’t be found on the track very often. He doesn’t care much about car racing.”