Red Bull’s ex-Honda power unit will be branded “a Red Bull engine”

2021 F1 season

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Red Bull will take over the branding of Honda’s power units after the Japanese manufacturer leaves the sport at the end of the year.

The team announced today it will continue using Honda engines in the 2022 F1 season and beyond, forming a new company known as Red Bull Powertrains to handle the maintenance and production of the power units.

The team previously rebranded its customer Renault power units after sponsor TAG Heuer before its switch to Honda engines in 2019. However team principal Christian Horner confirmed its 2022 power unit will be known as a “Red Bull engine.”

“As far as badging is concerned, there’s no discussions underway regarding that,” Horner confirmed in response to a question from RaceFans. “So it will be a Red Bull engine.”

The same is likely to apply to the same engines used by sister team AlphaTauri, Horner added. “We haven’t gone into specifics yet but I would envisage so. It’s a Red Bull engine.”

“As Mercedes is a Mercedes it will be an incorporated part of the car,” he added. “So it’ll just be a ‘Red Bull’.”

Formula 1 announced last week engine development will be frozen from 2022. Honda will continue to develop its power unit for Red Bull before then, said Horner.

“Honda are continuing to operate as usual this year and will stay committed to Formula 1 to the 31st of December,” he said. “During which time they’re obviously working with our fuel partner ExxonMobil on it, which they’re currently doing, with the development of the E10 fuel, which is obviously the biggest regulation change into next year.

“So it’s business as usual very much for the 2021 year. And obviously the engine will then be handed over for pre-season testing this time next year.”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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16 comments on “Red Bull’s ex-Honda power unit will be branded “a Red Bull engine””

  1. So, Hamilton gets his 8th title by June.

    1. Well duhu, would not expect anything less… But what has a 2022 RB engine to do with Hamilton getting his 8th title in 2021?

  2. So the PU cover will merely feature the ‘Red Bull’ text/logo, or Red Bull Powertrains.

    1. Until there is a better deal available that is.
      It’s F1.

      1. I kind of doubt that unless anyone would be willing to build an actual engine, or maybe Mercedes would come up saying they want out and want RB to take over their engine, that would be actually possible Erikje.

        Honda still owns the IP for this engine, they just let RB use them for another couple of years. It might be that Honda has an option to buy everything back etc. but certainly not another manufacturer getting to label this one.

        1. @bascb I did wonder if Red Bull should keep the Honda brand name because, as you say, Honda do own the IP for this engine, and they will have to teach Red Bull how to make the engines as well.

        2. @bascb

          This is merely about branding, not who actually makes the engine.

        3. @bascb
          Probablu not another engine manufacturer, but another sponsor.
          Tag Heuer, for example, they already named the RB’s Renault engine.

          1. But that was in part because Renault insisted their name be NOT on it @liko41.

            @aapje, off course this is not about who makes the engine (that is clearly RB Powertrains, using Honda IP).
            But even for branding, they would need HONDA to be fine with someone branding their IP, which they would probably be reluctant to want to allow for any manufacturer (why let a competitor brand it, right). And for any brand, it would probably depend on who they are and what they offer Honda for it as well.

            As @david-beau mentions, It could well be that Honda will still be involved at some level in the actual building of the engines

        4. They will ship RedBull the parts and provide an assembly team or train an assembly team. I figure some parts will be able to be manufactured by RedBull as well. Supply chain on key parts might be still handled by Honda.

        5. I do not think so.
          F1 is all about branding.. i.e. If Tag Heur wants the name they will get it.
          Honda sells the rights on the engine to RBR and the RBPowertrain will be badged to the highest bidder.

  3. So, next gen civic will be powered by RedBull-TEC

  4. A motorsport dream come true for Red Bull.

    1. Absolutely. Look what RB achieved in the V8 era with an engine that wasn’t necessarily the most powerful. The other manufacturers have just gifted RB an advantage with a dedicated fuel supplier that will direct development to suit their (& not customers’) purposes. It’s very hard to imagine them not being in the top 2.

      Hopefully there will be less moaning about powerplants and relative performance.

  5. They ought to call it the “Gives You Wings”…

  6. They should call it Taurus.

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