Skip to main content

Red Bull Honda: Big Risk, Big Reward? (Opinion Piece)

In June 2018 the F1 community awoke to the news that Red Bull Racing would be switching to Honda power for the 2019 F1 season.  The deal will carry them through until the regulation changes planned for 2021. Team principal of Red Bull, Christian Horner, said: "This multi-year agreement with Honda signals the start of an exciting new phase in Aston Martin Red Bull Racing's efforts to compete not just for Grand Prix wins but for what is always our goal-championship titles". It's certainly a bold statement and I'm sure that it left a lot of F1 fans in tears from laughter. Can Honda really compete at the top or will we see a repeat of Mclaren's situation?

After tempers frayed between Honda and Mclaren, Honda made a deal with Toro Rosso to supply their engines for the 2018 season onwards. Many people believed this to be a stupid move for the team since they were changing from the Renault engine. However, the community quickly began to change their opinion after Gasly scored that incredible 4th place in Bahrain. People were now seeing that this power unit was considerably better than what they had seen in the back of the Mclaren for the past 3 years. Meanwhile, Mclaren was floundering around at the back of the grid with the Renault engine adding believability to the theory that the problems Mclaren suffered were of their own making, not Honda's. No longer were Honda engines the slowest in a straight line!

It wasn't all rosy for Toro Rosso though.  During the 2018 season, they used a total of 8 engines across the 21 races. So what? Well, the number of engines allowed per season is 3. In comparison with all the other teams, including Mclaren Renault, Toro Rosso used double the amount of engine components which added up to A LOT of grid penalties. So while the engine was a step up from the previous years, it still was unreliable.
Engine components used during 2018 season

So what does Red Bull see that we don't? Clearly, they wouldn't blindly accept a deal with an engine supplier right? I personally see two reasons for the switch. One is that they were impressed with the development work they did with Toro Rosso and obviously think that, with a bit more development, the engine will close to the top. They will also have the advantage of being able to take and share data with the sister team which should hopefully aid them in their efforts to start winning championships again. The second reason for the switch, I believe, is that Renault flat out refused to supply them again. It's well known that relationships soured between Red Bull and Renault and the 2018 season didn't help matters(just look at Ricciardo's season) and with the frequent digs made by Horner adding fuel to the fire, it couldn't continue. Perhaps Red Bull was left with no option!

We can only wait until the lights go out on March the 17th to truly know if their decision will pay off. For Daniel Ricciardo, his move to Renault could be either the best or the worst decision of his career.


Popular posts from this blog

What's new for F1 2019?

The 2018 F1 season is now almost a distant memory. This time last year, we were all foaming at the mouth over the introduction of the halo (myself included to a certain extent). I think we can all agree that the halo is here to stay. It proved it's worth at the 2018 Belgian GP and to be totally honest, it doesn't actually look that bad. Looking back, it's now a bit strange seeing a car without a halo. Anyway, with all that scandal behind us, we look ahead to the 2019 season. OH BOY, MORE CONTROVERSY!!!  We're seeing tweaks to both the technical and safety regulations this year with FOM hoping that they improve the spectacle for this year. In this article, I'll be going through each and every change for the 2019 season to hopefully make you more aware of what's around the corner. You can come to your own conclusion about whether the technical changes, in particular, will improve the racing, Let's begin

Aerodynamic Changes:

Just like in 2017, we're seeing …

Breaking:Kubica to take 2019 seat at Williams.

It's official! Confirmed in a statement by Williams this morning, Robert Kubica will take the seat next to George Russell for 2019. Having been the reserve driver for the 2018 season, he will return to racing after his horrific rally crash in 2011. Originally, it was thought that Kubica would take a full-time seat in 2018 but a late change of plans put Sergey Sirotkin in the seat, leaving Kubica in the reserve driver role. This has allowed Williams to assess his contribution to the team, both in his driving ability and most likely the financial support that he can bring to the team. It seems that year as reserve driver has impressed the team enough to
give him a full- time seat for next year. Claire Williams stated, " We went through an extensive process for choosing the driver for 2019......we don't just go off how popular they are, we go off talent".

This means that we will likely be saying goodbye to Sirotkin in Abu Dhabi. Williams now have a very interesting dri…