The Force India driver said he is curious to see how multiple championship-winning team fares with Honda, which hasn’t reached the podium since returning to Formula 1 in 2015.
“I’m surprised, and I’m very interested to see how they will do, because Red Bull is a guarantee that they will have a very strong car and a very strong package. So it will be interesting to see how they will get on.”
Toro Rosso driver Pierre Gasly said Honda had made significant progress with the updates version of its engine which was introduced at the Canadian Grand Prix.
“It’s a really good step,” he said. “I think in terms of performance it’s clearly a good help.
“We saw in Canada that we were able to overtake other cars – Force India, Haas. So I think it’s looking pretty good.”
Honda returned to F1 with McLaren in 2015 but split from them at the end of last season after three unsuccessful years. The team’s driver Fernando Alonso said he was not surprised by Red Bull’s decision.
“To be honest, what the other teams do, I think it’s difficult to analyse from the outside,” he said.
“We don’t have all the data, all the things they have so I’m happy for them if they take this decision, and happy for Honda to show their commitment to F1 and for the future and at the same time, it’s not a surprise.”
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2018 F1 season
- Honda’s jet division helped F1 engineers solve power unit problem
- McLaren Racing losses rise after Honda split
- Ricciardo: Baku “s***show” was Red Bull’s fault
- “Drive to Survive Episode 1: All to Play For” reviewed
- F1’s television and social media audiences rose last year