With Honda leaving Formula 1 by the end of 2021, Red Bull still has yet to confirm their engine supplier for 2022 and beyond, but TJ13 has learned that a solution has been found and it involves the current Honda engine boss.
Thought previously to be secured with a return to Renault engine deal now other developments have begun that could see Red Bull use their own Honda based PU for Verstappen and new team-mate, expected to be Sergio Perez – soon to be announced this week READ MORE ON THAT STORY
Despite the deadline being set between the end of November and the beginning of December, the question of the 2022 Formula 1 engines has not yet found its final conclusion.
Most vocal about the situation is Red Bull, which a few months ago confirmed that it no longer has an engine supplier for both Red Bull Racing and junior team Alpha Tauri, due to Honda’s departure at the end of next season. A step forced on them by Honda and predicted by TJ13 around this time last year
The aim of the Milton Keynes-based team, should they avoid the current deal (elect) with Renault, is to freeze major development of the current power units, then acquire the intellectual property of Honda and produce its own engines. Then in time, wait for a new, simpler and cheaper set of rules to attract new constructors.
TJ13 has learned that Red Bull may sign Honda’s technical director, Toyoharu Tanabe, and the Japanese boss had been questioned about that posibility in the media saying:
“This is a bit unexpected news for me. If something happens in the future and some proposal comes in,
“I will take some time to think carefully about my future,” said the Japanese engineer.
“However, we have ongoing discussions with Red Bull: we haven’t come to a conclusion yet, but we are considering different aspects.”
Team principal Christian Horner remains bullish on the subject, claiming that the talks between the Austrian team and rival teams are highly politicised:
“As you can imagine, I can’t say much about what is being discussed, but I can say that the conversations taking place behind the scenes are positive.
“There is no denying the political weight on the issue, but that is unfortunately part of the game. I have been in this business long enough to understand how it works”.
Regardless, the current expectation is that Red Bull will have their own developed engine regardless of how much the rules are frozen (or not frozen), with Tanabe heading up whatever PU development required for both Red Bull Racing and Alpha Tauri as a Red Bull employee. Music to the ears of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez.