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Have Honda and Red Bull reached an engine agreement?

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News is swirling today that Red Bull and Honda have reached an agreement to take over engines from 2022 onwards. Honda are leaving F1 at the end of the 2021 season, meaning Red Bull, and in turn sister team Alpha Tauri are left needing a new engine supplier. Mercedes would not want to supply their closest rivals, which they have gone on the record saying. Ferrari has also closed the door on Red Bull, leaving Renault. The relationship between Renault and Red Bull has not gone particularly well in the past (anyone remember Drive to Survive) so Red Bull have focussed their efforts on a takeover of Honda’s engine and the engine facilities. Talks have seemingly moved forward and a deal seems close. 

Talks had seemingly slowed down between the two sides as clarity was initially requested by Red Bull by November 2020, which was delayed until December 2020 before being delayed again, and a deal is still not confirmed. A meeting between the two sides is due to take place this week, with both sides confident of reaching a deal.

To give themselves the best chance of keeping pace with their rivals in 2022 Red Bull had requested a freeze in engine development. Although some constructors were happy with a partial freeze Red Bull wanted a total freeze, other teams were unwilling to go along with this, causing a hiccup in proceedings.

Some constructors in particular were unhappy with what Red Bull were requesting. Ferrari, in particular, were only willing to agree to a freeze if the new engine regulations due in 2026 were brought forward to 2025. A complete engine freeze would not benefit Ferrari in the slightest, as after an incredibly poor 2020 they have fallen away from their rivals, an engine freeze would make moving their way back up the grid a much tougher task.

Honda currently develops engines at their Milton Keynes factory, Red Bull want to take over operations here and expand them into the nearby Red Bull Technology Campus.

Red Bull hope the deal can go through smoothly so they can continue to fight for wins and world championships in the years to come.

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