The Austrian team wanted to give it another race to assess the French manufacturer’s new specification of power unit against Honda’s.
Instead, the announcement was made earlier than expected.
“Actually we wanted to announce the decision after France. But Renault set an ultimatum that ended on Sunday. We had no choice,” said Marko, Red Bull’s motor racing consultant.
However, he admitted that Red Bull was already convinced that Honda is the right choice. Toro Rosso’s progress with the engine was the deciding factor behind the decision.
“The new update, which could not be properly used in Canada due to unfortunate circumstances, brought three tenths of laptime.
So the deal with Honda is extremely positive for us in every way. Sport, technical and financial,” added Marko.
The Red Bull-Honda contract is set to run for two years. All this is despite looming rumours that Porsche might enter F1 under the 2021 engine regulations.
Team principal Christian Horner said that the decision to switch to Honda was made for sporting reasons. He also clearly said that the Japanese marque will be a ‘works’ partner.
According to him, Red Bull got enough information in Montreal to make the call in Honda’s favour.
“Based on Montreal, the decision for us was unambiguous and it’s the right time. As for expectations, we want to further reduce the gap to the others. Honda has the infrastructure and the resources to help us with that,” he added.
Meanwhile, the 4-time constructor’s champions are gearing up for the French Grand Prix at the Circuit Paul Ricard. This is virtually a new track for all drivers and teams. The calendar returns to France after a gap of nearly 10 years.