Although Max Verstappen has won a few races and battled his way to 3rd in the 2019 F1 championship, Honda are still not convinced. In fact, Honda F1 chief Masashi Yamamoto admitted that Red Bull’s recent success will not be influential in deciding if the Japanese manufacturer and if Red Bull themselves, stay in F1.
Recently, Red Bull motorsport advisor, Dr Helmut Marko suggested that Red Bull will leave F1 if Honda pulls the plug. This will only become a reality if Honda do not like the new regulations in 2021, which Liberty Media published ahead of the United States GP.
The bad news is that Yamamoto admitted that Red Bull’s success must be on par with the costs of supplying both Red Bull and sister team Toro Rosso.
“We have started to calculate how much it will cost with the future regulations,” He told Motorsport.com.
“We have noticed that it’s very tough for all the car manufacturers at the moment, because of the environment change for electrification. So, we are summing up the development cost and having discussions internally.
“It is true that the cost is the biggest issue. Winning is the first priority. Once we decide to participate, we just try to win.”
“It’s positive to have good results. But more important thing is a balance with the cost. We have to put lots of budget to accelerate our development to catch up the top runners.
“And now we are planning how to maintain current condition and reducing the cost at the same time.”
Ahead of this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, this will be a crucial period for Red Bull and Toro Rosso. If Honda actually pull out, both teams will be in a fix, as it will be difficult to find another engine supplier. Red Bull already burned their bridges with Renault, and Mercedes and Ferrari may not be too eager to supply to a direct rival.