Red Bull Racing does not have to go to Mercedes for a new engine. The Austrian team must look for a power source for 2022 because Honda will end the cooperation after next year.
“We have several reasons not to partner with Red Bull, but the most important is that we already supply an engine to four teams, including ourselves,” Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said at a press conference on Friday.
Honda announced last week that it will no longer continue with Red Bull and Red Bulls satellite team AlphaTauri after 2021, as the Japanese manufacturer wants to focus fully on its goal of being CO2 neutral by 2050.
Red Bull does not have to fear that it will be without an engine from 2022, because according to Formula 1 rules, the engine builder with the fewest customer teams must supply an engine to racing stables without a power source.
Marko only wants ‘competitive engine’
Top Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko emphasized earlier this week that his team is only interested in a “competitive bike”. “It is true that we are assured of a bike after 2021, but without an engine that will allow us to win the World Cup, this project is not interesting for us.”
The most obvious option is for Red Bull to return to Honda’s predecessor Renault. The French team is currently relinquishing the power source only to its own team and McLaren and is obliged under current rules to sign a deal with Red Bull. It is still possible to deviate from this.
Max Verstappen, who together with Alexander Albon forms the driver duo at Red Bull, is not very concerned. “We still have a year and a half to get the car ready for a different engine, and Red Bull is generally quite flexible in that, to make last-minute adjustments for a particular engine.”