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Honda President – Red Bull opted for Ford



Honda Presiden Red Bull opted for Ford

According to Honda Racing Corporation’s President, Koji Watanabe, it appears that Red Bull withdrew from discussions regarding a potential Formula 1 engine partnership for the 2026 season and instead opted for Ford.

Red Bull and Honda formed a partnership in Formula 1 in 2018, initially with the Toro Rosso team, and later with Red Bull Racing in 2019. Despite Honda’s departure from the sport at the end of 2021, there is an existing agreement for engine supply that runs through the end of 2025.

Red Bull and Honda had discussions about extending their partnership into the new rules cycle, but this would have required a different arrangement as Red Bull had already established a new engine division called Red Bull Powertrains, at a significant cost, after Honda announced their departure from the sport.

By the time Honda expressed interest in remaining in Formula 1 for the new rules cycle, Red Bull had already made significant progress with its plans, and consequently had specific conditions that any potential partner would need to meet.

Following Red Bull’s announcement that it would be collaborating with Ford in 2026 instead, Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner commented on the failed partnership with Honda, stating that the two companies had explored extending their relationship beyond 2025 but ultimately found it too challenging to implement from a logistical standpoint.

It appears that the reasons for the failed partnership between Honda and Red Bull were related to several factors. Firstly, Honda was indecisive about its future involvement in Formula 1, which created uncertainty for Red Bull.

Additionally, Red Bull was seeking a partner that could provide a highly specific and restricted technical brief, and a significant financial contribution, which Honda may not have been able to fulfill. These factors, among others, may have contributed to the breakdown in talks between the two companies.


While Honda’s indecisiveness may have contributed to the breakdown in talks with Red Bull, the opposite was true for Ford, which was reportedly eager to collaborate with Red Bull on an engine deal for the 2026 Formula 1 season. In light of this, Red Bull moved forward with securing a partnership with the large American manufacturer.

It is true that Red Bull and Honda had numerous discussions about extending their successful partnership in Formula 1, which had been characterized by a strong working relationship. Therefore, it is somewhat surprising how quickly the talks between the two companies broke down, particularly given the history and success of their collaboration.

However, it is possible that the complex nature of the discussions, coupled with the specific technical and financial demands of Red Bull, may have made it difficult to find a mutually beneficial solution.

The symbolic switch from HRC to Honda stickers, which occurred towards the end of the 2021 season, as well as the extension of the deal between Honda and Red Bull for 2023-2025, and the official use of the Honda name on the Formula 1 entry list, were all seen as part of a broader effort to lobby for an extension of the partnership between the two companies beyond 2025. However, despite these efforts, it appears that the specific demands of Red Bull, coupled with Honda’s indecisiveness, ultimately led to the breakdown in talks.

It seems that talks between Red Bull and Honda broke down towards the end of 2022, with Red Bull accelerating discussions with Ford in the final months of the year. It is possible that by October of that year, an unbridgeable divide had emerged between Red Bull and Honda, possibly due to differing conditions for a partnership to work, or Honda’s uncertainty about its future involvement in Formula 1.

Despite the successful history of their collaboration, it appears that the specific demands and circumstances of both companies may have made it difficult to find a way to continue working together beyond the existing agreement for engine supply, which runs until the end of 2025.

It appears that both Red Bull and Honda have been relatively quiet about the breakdown in their talks regarding a potential extension of their partnership in Formula 1.

While the reasons behind the failure to reach an agreement are not entirely clear, it seems that both parties have chosen not to discuss the matter publicly, at least for the time being. It is possible that this is due to the sensitive nature of the negotiations and the desire to maintain positive relationships going forward.


In a Q&A session during Honda’s press briefing for its 2023 Formula 1 programme on Monday, Koji Watanabe confirmed that Honda had received advanced notice about Red Bull’s deal with Ford.

Additionally, he stated that despite the breakdown in talks for an extension beyond 2025, Honda’s existing partnership with Red Bull remains unchanged and will continue through the end of the 2025 season. While the reasons behind the failed negotiations are not entirely clear, it seems that both companies remain committed to their existing agreement for engine supply.

While Koji Watanabe was relatively vague in his statements regarding the breakdown in talks between Honda and Red Bull, there was a clear implication that Red Bull was the party that ended the negotiations, rather than Honda refusing to continue working with Red Bull.

Watanabe’s tone and choice of words suggested that he was hesitant to speak too plainly about the matter, but the implication was that Honda was open to continuing the partnership, but it was Red Bull that ultimately decided to pursue a different path with Ford.

In his statements, Koji Watanabe appeared to be careful not to speak negatively of Red Bull, possibly due to the fact that Honda remains their current partner. Additionally, he may have been hesitant to criticize the decision-makers within Honda who allowed the partnership to come to an end.

However, Watanabe was clear in his insistence that Honda did not see the failed negotiations as a failure, and that the company remains in contact with Red Bull on a regular basis. While the partnership between Honda and Red Bull was ultimately not extended beyond 2025, Watanabe emphasized that this was a decision made through dialogue and mutual agreement, and not due to any perceived failure on Honda’s part.

Given the importance of Red Bull as a key partner for Honda’s long-term success in Formula 1, it is understandable that the company would want to maintain a positive relationship with the team, regardless of the outcome of the negotiations.


Honda President – Red Bull opted for Ford Honda President – Red Bull opted for Ford Honda President – Red Bull opted for Ford Honda President – Red Bull opted for Ford

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