Honda 'helping its chances' of landing Red Bull F1 deal for 2019

Honda's promising start to the 2018 Formula 1 season is "helping its chances" of being a viable option for Red Bull should the team decide to switch engines for 2019

Honda 'helping its chances' of landing Red Bull F1 deal for 2019

Pierre Gasly started fifth and finished fourth in the Honda-powered Toro Rosso in Bahrain, helped by a double retirement for the sister Red Bull team - including a Renault energy store failure for Daniel Ricciardo.

Renault Sport boss Cyril Abiteboul has made it clear that he wants a decision on Red Bull's plans sooner rather than later, citing the May/June deadline given by the FIA for manufacturers to confirm which teams they will be supplying.

"It's helping their chances of looking attractive to Red Bull," said Ricciardo.

"At the moment it has got nothing to do with me, because I'm not contracted to the team for next year.

How Honda plans to build on F1 breakthrough

"But those engine discussions don't involve us drivers. I'm aware that there could be some changes next year. And it's cool for Honda.

"They obviously invested quite a bit in the last few years, and it didn't work with McLaren.

"But pretty cool that now Toro Rosso is doing well with it."

Red Bull motorsport boss Helmut Marko made it clear that the chances of a switch have increased as Honda has shown improved form in 2018.

"Before we made the decision to work with Honda [with Toro Rosso] we believed it could be a successful package, once they showed us what they were planning to do," he told Autosport.

"When the time is right, we'll make our decision. There's a bigger picture which we have to look at.

"It's going in the right direction, and you journalists should know that we are brave."

Team boss Christian Horner has insisted that Red Bull is not in a hurry to make a call, suggesting that the end of the summer was the team's own timescale.

"We've got a great front row seat to follow progress through the first half of the season. That's very much our game plan," said Horner.

Ricciardo's teammate Max Verstappen insisted that Honda wasn't yet on his radar.

"I haven't been thinking about that. And to be honest, it's not up to me.

"Any team, the more power you can have, the better it is of course. But it's still early days of course, so we'll see," he said.

However, he acknowledged that Gasly's performance had registered: "It was great to see. I was standing next to Helmut when we were watching it [qualifying], and it was great to see Pierre put in a great lap.

"I think the whole package seems to be pretty decent."

shares
comments
Mercedes says it was too slow to spot Vettel's Bahrain F1 strategy

Previous article

Mercedes says it was too slow to spot Vettel's Bahrain F1 strategy

Next article

Charles Leclerc: Marcus Ericsson F1 performances 'difficult for me'

Charles Leclerc: Marcus Ericsson F1 performances 'difficult for me'
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Teams Honda Racing F1 Team , Red Bull Racing
Author Adam Cooper
How Hamilton’s qualifying record compares to Senna and Schumacher Plus

How Hamilton’s qualifying record compares to Senna and Schumacher

Lewis Hamilton has just become the first driver to record 100 world championship Formula 1 pole positions. Time to revisit a debate we discussed when he reached 150 front row starts in 2020.

Why sustainability is being mandated by F1 Plus

Why sustainability is being mandated by F1

Continuing to be socially acceptable as public views shift globally is vitally important to the future of motor racing, says PAT SYMONDS - especially in Formula 1, the championship that represents the technological peak

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull's title credentials, and heap pressure on Verstappen Plus

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull's title credentials, and heap pressure on Verstappen

Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes led the way in Friday practice for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, but there was one big encouraging sign for Red Bull. The trouble is, it looks like making good on that gain will require its superstar driver to avoid repeating a mistake made today that left him well down the FP2 order

Formula 1
May 7, 2021
Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place Plus

Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place

Three points finishes from as many starts represents a decent opening innings on paper, but Daniel Ricciardo has endured a tough start to his McLaren career - only magnified his team-mate's excellent form. Yet both he and the team have good reason to expect a turnaround soon

Formula 1
May 6, 2021
What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors Plus

What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors

OPINION: Going up against the dominant force of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton was always going to demand the best from Red Bull and Max Verstappen. But after making a couple more errors during the Portuguese Grand Prix, the Dutch driver showed there's a small gap he still needs to close in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight

Formula 1
May 5, 2021
The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix Plus

The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix

Red Bull's Portuguese Grand Prix fortunes were decidedly second best to Mercedes', but the result skews the potential that the team had at Portimao. With a new set of updates, the team looks good going forward into the rest of 2021's spicy F1 competition

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
Portuguese Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Portuguese Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2021 Portuguese GP will for several drivers go down as a weekend of missed opportunities amid imperfect track conditions that caused struggles with tyre warmup. But the performances of a select few stood out from the crowd

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
How Hamilton took a “completely different journey” to Portugal victory Plus

How Hamilton took a “completely different journey” to Portugal victory

Just as he did in 2020, Lewis Hamilton had to come from behind to win the 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix. Only this time there were two rivals he had to pass, among the several challenges he had to overcome, on his way to securing a 97th grand prix victory

Formula 1
May 3, 2021