In the wake of Max Verstappen’s win and a double Honda podium as a bonus, Red Bull and Honda are moving closer to a new deal. This proposed new contract will most likely extend their works Formula 1 collaboration beyond 2020.
Officially, the Japanese engine manufacturer have yet to sign up for the sweeping new regulations of 2021.
However, after a trying stint with McLaren in 2015, Honda is steadily improving and it is showing. The Japanese manufacturer have managed to close the gap to the other engine suppliers, and three wins in 2019 are definite proof of it.
According to technical boss Toyoharu Tanabe to Formule 1, he hopes that Interlagos’ one-two “has a positive impact” on Honda’s decision about the future.
Similarly, De Limburger reported that Red Bull motorsport Dr Helmut Marko travelled to Japan from Brazil after the race.
“Sources in the paddock know that a deal to deliver engines in 2021 is in the works,” the report said.
“In Abu Dhabi, where the last race of the season will be held in two weeks, the Japanese would like to have news.”
However, Tanabe commented: “I am not involved in this process, but our board is working on it.”
Admittedly, Max Verstappen dominated the race, but the real story was Pierre Gasly in 2nd. While the podium was spectacular in itself, what caught everyone’s eye, was Gasly defending from Lewis Hamilton. The showdown culminated in a drag race to the line, and the Toro Rosso edged out the Mercedes.
Gasly hung on around the outside against Hamilton on the flat-out sprint from Juncao corner to the finish line, against the odds, and claimed his first Formula 1 podium. In doing so, Gasly showed Honda are well and truly in the fight now.
If Red Bull can keep up the momentum, in the following season, then the Verstappen/Red Bull/Honda package could be a force to be reckoned with in 2020.