Amid rumours that Red Bull will race with Honda engines in 2019, the company has dispatched their Red Bull Technology department to work with Honda. For the 2018 season, the Japanese marquee will supply engines exclusively to the Red Bull junior team Toro Rosso. Red Bull Racing consultant Dr. Helmut Marko said that Red Bull Technology is lending a hand.
Marko said “Right now, we’re working hard with Honda to make this a competitive package with Toro Rosso. We are very pleased with the progress Honda is making and will continue to make until the start of the season.”
It is the strongest sign yet that a Red Bull-Honda union will happen. Red Bull may not even have a choice, especially after their dramatic falling out with Renault. The Austrian team’s Renault engine deal comes to an end after 2018, so a Red Bull-Honda marriage for 2019 is probable.
Marko said that the Red Bull Technology Centre’s top-of-the-line facilities will support Honda. He also said that Red Bull will then stand back and monitor the progress of the Toro Rosso-Honda package next year. Red Bull’s plan of action will be to assess Toro Rosso’s performance and then accordingly take a call of what their 2019 plans will be.
Meanwhile, McLaren are preparing for their new partnership with the Renault team after their own falling out with Honda. 2018 will be a season of unknowns for several teams like McLaren, Toro Rosso and Red Bull. Even Sauber, after their latest tie up with Alfa Romeo for the upcoming F1 season will be in uncharted waters. Next season is also an acid test for Formula One and Liberty Media after they introduced a slew of changes, most of which have not been met favourably by the drivers and fans alike.