Toro Rosso-Honda, Baku City Circuit, 2018

Red Bull and Honda haven’t signed engine contract yet

2019 F1 season

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Red Bull has not yet signed a contract with Honda for its supply of power units for the 2019 F1 season.

The team announced on Tuesday it will use Honda’s engines next year. However the general manager of Honda’s motor sport division, Masahi Yamamoto, said the two parties have only reached a Memorandum of Understanding so far.

“What we first discussed and decided is we are going to supply the power unit and all the details regarding contracts will be discussed from now on,” said Yamamoto in response to a question from RaceFans. “For the next couple of months we’ll go into detail in all the factors in the contract.”

Last year Honda agreed a memorandum of understanding to supply power units to Sauber this season. However Sauber pulled out of the deal after Monisha Kaltenborn was replaced by Frederic Vasseur as team principal.

“We first discussed with Monisha and then Frederic so the three of us first were not under the same platform when we started the discussions,” explained Yamamoto. “Once we got under the same platform we realised there were differences.

“So it’s not that we didn’t agree on something. We discussed, there was no argument. What we decided was we both wanted a step up for the better for both of us and it wouldn’t go that way, so we decided it wouldn’t be the best decision to not continue with what we had planned.”

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Vasseur said there were two reasons why he pulled Sauber out of the Honda deal.

“We need at this stage to have a benchmark and it was quite tough for us to start with Honda alone,” he said.

“The second point in my decision was also that we were not able to do our own gearbox last year and I had the feeling that at one stage McLaren will leave Honda and I didn’t want to be in the position that I have to go to Eric [Boullier] to ask for the gearbox and if he’s focused on the Renault project, it was more than uncomfortable.”

Yamamoto believes supplying both Red Bull-owned teams with power units next year will give it a development advantage over Ferrari and Mercedes, which supply their own teams plus two others on a customer basis.”

“Regarding Ferrari and Mercedes it’s more like a relationship between customers,” he said. “However with us we will have four cars all the information will be totally available with four cars. So we’re confident with the data that we have.”

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2019 F1 season

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13 comments on “Red Bull and Honda haven’t signed engine contract yet”

  1. I thought it always goes the other way round meaning that a contract gets signed first before announcement/confirmation.

    1. Maybe there’s cold feet after seeing Hartley’s blowout… 😁 That engine did just qualifying and 1 lap in Canada didn’t it?

    2. Humour apart, I’d think that they might have just inked a memorandum of understanding, to signal intent. The contract itself will be more complex due to the need to write in various things like break clauses, early termination penalties, performance and upgrade targets, etc., all of which will keep the lawyers on both sides busy in the coming weeks.

      1. There’s also a whole new global marketing campaign to tackle now that the Honda badge will be alongside the bull. Licensing agreements galore to be hammered out.

      2. @phylyp On a more serious note it did get quite a shakedown

        1. @davidnotcoulthard – LOL, that’s true, it probably had its fillings knocked loose!

  2. Is this gonna affect Daniel’s decision ?

    1. @webtel There’s only one person can answer that.

  3. The only people effected by this are the media and journalists who have rushed to make claims about details of the contract, & now have egg on their faces …

  4. It may be too late to turn back.
    The cards may now be in Renault hands as they no longer have to provide engines to RBR since Honda is an option.
    I’d love to see Renault refuse them.

  5. So they saw Hartleys engine go pop again and someone at Red Bull “lost” the pen.

    1. @mrcento apparently the guys at Honda couldn’t find a replacement pen

      1. @strontium, it’s ok, though, they’ll bring a new pen soon, and when they do it will be a fantastic pen, a significant upgrade over the pens they used before, they’ve had the office staff at Sakura using them 24/7 and the numbers they’ve written with them all look good….. Absolutely none of them have leaked, honestly…..

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