Artist's impression of Honda logo on 2022 Red Bull F1 car

Honda logos return to Red Bull’s two teams for rest of F1 season

2022 Japanese Grand Prix

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Honda’s logos will return to Red Bull and AlphaTauri’s cars for the rest of 2022, beginning with this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka.

The automotive brand announced its departure from Formula 1 two years ago last Sunday. Its deal to supply engines to Red Bull’s two teams ended when the 2021 season concluded.

Honda then entered an agreement in which the new Red Bull Powertrains division operated its power units this season before Red Bull took engine design, build and operation fully in-house.

However, two months ago Honda Racing Corporation extended its engine support deal to cover a further two seasons before the current V6 hybrid turbo power unit regulations are replaced in 2026. Throughout this period, these engines are officially badged as Red Bull units. But ahead of Honda’s home race, at a circuit it owns, an updated agreement has been put into action.

While both teams cars have carried HRC logos since the season began, the Honda logo will return to Red Bull and AlphaTauri’s cars for the first time since the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix this weekend. The teams issued images of how the updated branding will appear.

As part of the enhanced agreement between the team and manufacturer, Red Bull driver Sergio Perez will join the likes of Indianapolis 500 winner Takuma Sato and Super Formula star Toshiki Oyu as a lecturer at the Suzuka-based Honda Racing School in a new ambassadorial role. He and his Red Bull F1 stablemates will attend the annual HRC Thanks Day on November 27, one week after the end of a season which is likely to see the team and Max Verstappen claim the championship trophies.

“Honda has invested significantly in hybrid technology over the course of our partnership. This has ensured the supply of competitive power units to both teams, for which we are very grateful,” said Red Bull team principal Christian Horner.

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“Our combined goal is to continue to deliver dominant engines and achieve the most success possible in the following three years. To mark this, we look forward to welcoming the Honda logo back on to the car from Suzuka onwards.”

Red Bull motorsport consultant Helmut Marko said the team is “going from strength to strength with the technical support from HRC until the next generation of engines are introduced in 2026.”

“We are confident this relationship with HRC will set us up for more success in the future and thank them for their ongoing support,” he added.

Last month Red Bull confirmed it had ceased discussions with Porsche over a potential tie-up with the manufacturer when F1’s new power unit rules are introduced in four years’ time. Horner previously indicated the team is open to working more closely with Honda providing it “fits with the long-term strategy of the team”, which intends to build its own power units in-house at its Milton Keynes base.

Artist's impression of Honda Racing Corporation logo on 2022 Red Bull F1 car
Artist’s impression of Honda Racing Corporation logo on 2022 Red Bull F1 car
Artist's impression of Honda logo on 2022 AlphaTauri F1 car
Artist’s impression of Honda logo on 2022 AlphaTauri F1 car

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2022 Japanese Grand Prix

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Author information

Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching photography back in the UK. Currently based...

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27 comments on “Honda logos return to Red Bull’s two teams for rest of F1 season”

  1. Well that’s nice.

    Most sympathetic manufacturer imo; Honda is sort of the quiet kid (especially when compared to Merc or Renault) that got bullied alot (looking at you Fernando and Zak), but got their revanche in the end.
    And let’s be honest, it’s their engine design that powers the engine side of the current RB successes, not RB Powertrains, so fair enough they get the laurels.

  2. It’s almost as if they never went away…

    1. Does seem a little convenient doesn’t it!

      1. I’m sure Red Bull would have preferred to just have a long-term Honda deal in place rather than all the stress of setting up RBPT, trying to get an engine freeze situated, and worrying about selling 50% of the team off to get Porsche on-board.

        End of day, if Honda had just committed from the beginning, Red Bull would’ve been spared a lot of money and trouble, so convenient wouldn’t be my choice of words @tdm :D

        I’m just glad Honda are sticking around honestly. Between them and Sauber-Audi and hopefully finally a decent effort from Renault, we have five works teams potentially fighting for championships. That’s a good thing for all of us, isn’t it?

        1. @sjaakfoo

          …trying to get an engine freeze situated…

          Don’t be naive. This is *exactly* what RBR were after, because they knew that the other more committed manufacturers would just have continued developing away from Honda who obviously weren’t committed to a PU arms race.

    2. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
      5th October 2022, 10:05

      Well they didn’t did they? They have been making the engine all the time since 2020 and brought a very good performance update in 2021 and again this year.

    3. Well, the trick did work to get the engine development freeze they / Red bull were pushing for.

      And already there are rumours singing around about this all having been a trick so that Honda could further develop their own engine in the mean time without those restrictions. I find that highly unlikely, but who knows, this is F1 afterall, so they might actually want to do something like that if there is an advantage to be found.

      It will certainly mean that the scrutiny of any future please from either Honda and/or Red Bull for any favours for their engine issues is only going to be further heightened. As well as for any developments or steps in power a full return to offical works deal might show for the coming years.

      1. Shouldn’t this be treated as Red Bull replacing their engines, um, power units? If Honda is reclaiming responsibility for the engines or changing how it participates in their operation, that should be regulated as an engine change. I mean, whose engines are they and how are Honda and Red Bull getting away with switching engines at all?

  3. There’s two things certain in F1:

    Alonso will trash talk his team at some point.

    Honda will leave F1 at the wrong time.

    At least both are good enough to rebuild trust.

    1. Another three certainties

      3 = Honda returning (Less than a year this time…)

      4 = Verstappen reporting problem with engine / loss of power (ironically…)

      5 = Hamilton questioning Mercedes strategy / tyre choice

  4. Is this in anyway related to budget caps as some costs can then be swallowed by Honda, on the books at least?

    1. Engine development and costs are not under the budget cap, so that seems unlikely.

      (they’re not because it would be unfair to teams because only some develop their own engines, after all)

      1. But Red Bull did do some “tricks” with shoving people back and forth between RB Racing (100% in the RB cap), RB advanced tech (shared between RB Racing, AT and some external projects like the AM Valkery and some ships etc) and RB powertrains (100 % outside of the budget cap), so they might have tried to do so @sjaakfoo

        1. This is common across most of the larger integrated “Teams”.
          Ferrari was actively moving staff in different directions prior to this year to off-load the F1 Team and parent co. and to minimize Italian Govt. impact on staff reductions. Read as tax penalties.
          Some went to Haas, Sauber and probably the Power Train division.
          No doubt, staff working on “other” projects will have their costs allocated someplace other than the F1 team. Mercedes likely has the most opportunity to do this and it would be fully expected.
          Don’t sweat Adrian Newey’s costs as I understood that top staff were outside the cap for now. Drivers too.

  5. Another useless waste of money business decision from Honda corporation, Redbull is so far removed from Honda now ‘partnership’ wise it has next to no material meaning just like the Infiniti/Nissan Vettel era. I guess max will drive a 60’s Honda F1 car around Honda owned Suzuka circuit in-between FP sessions and they can sell more Honda branded merchandise this weekend but it seems like a waste of money business wise…

    Why do Japanese companies always get it massively wrong when it comes to investing in F1? Toyota spent billions and won nothing and when they finally designed a fast car in 2009 and was looking to win races in 2010 upper management back in Nagoya pulled out and converted the Germany based F1 team into WEC duties.
    Honda virtually built 99% of the 2009 dominating ‘brawn’ car, the ground breaking double diffuser was designed by an ex Super Aguri(Honda B team) employee who moved to Honda F1 after super Super Aguri folded in may 2008. Honda still paid the wages of staff and both drivers, allowed brawn to keep the factory for free and they got zero recognition for Buttons WDC and WCC… maybe its because the F1 teams are Europe based not Japan and F1 economy is heavily UK weighted so there is a ‘lost in translation’ effect with corporate HQ not in tune with what’s happening 1000’s miles away?

    The only possible logical explanation for Honda burning money throwing cash at RB and AT is that they are gearing up to to purchase AT and become a full factory team again like Enstone/Renault-Alpine or Brackley/Mercedes AMG F1(ironic how Honda built the current factory Mercedes AMG F1 are how..). Honda has gone as far as to fund Honda academy driver Yuki Tsunoda’s 2023 race seat so why not go all of the way and become a full factory operation?

    1. @ccpbioweapon you seem to have a fairly loose relationship with facts, sadly. Red Bull and Honda have been working lockstep for the past several years culminating in last year’s Driver’s Championship win (OK.. that was in past a gift from Masi). They are most certainly going to win both WDC and WCC this year… I would hardly characterize that as a waste of money by Honda. The two key reasons manufacturers participate in F1 are :
      a) increase Brand awareness b) develop carry-over technology to their mainstay.
      Ironically, Honda hurt themselves in the brand recognition department by announcing withdrawal ahead of winning the above-mentioned championships.

      The other error you have conveniently made is in your analysis of Brawn. Taking nothing away from the huge step that was made with the double-diffuser, it is unlikely that “Honda” would have won the WDC/WCC the year that Brawn took over. Judging on the previous years performance, the Honda engine was quite unreliable and would likely have scored several own-goals in the reliability area. The Merc engine, on the other hand was powerful and largely reliable.
      I would also question whether the double-diffuser would have made it unto the car under Honda management, which, from all reports was… shall we say.. quite Japan-centric..

  6. This PR release is about 24 hours too early. I think I would have waited to see the outcome of the budget cap compliance first… If Red Bull have been naughty, Honda is now going to be caught up in it at their home race, whereas if they had kept quiet, they could have said that it was nothing to do with them (which it wasn’t).

    1. I am pretty sure that teams get the “verdict” on that with regards to their own results from the FIA up front though @firebreather.

      Such a decision – about the full, open support, has to be made at top level in a company like Honda. And since it is a listed company, they then have to publish such information to avoid any claims about potential inside dealing. Which explains why it’s announce now and not say on Thursday with an official presentation in Suzuka.

  7. Welcome back to Honda, please stay long enough to enjoy the victory party this time.

    This also makes me wonder what the deal with the Porsche talks was really all about, did Horner use Porsche as a bargaining chip to squeeze Honda? How very Game of Thrones :)

    1. It would be reasonable that after the negotiations with Porsche went wrong, their situation regarding further cooperation with Honda changed.

      But its somehow strange, that this leads to such significant decisions within the short time. And even more strange that this gets public now, on the very exact day when the costcap report shall be released by the FIA. Like last years finale this again smells fishy.

    2. I think RB played it smart not to bet on one horse. Probably prefered Honda as a partner and not Porsche as the mayor shareholder of the team. Obviously it is announced in the Japanese race weekend but some people see conspiracys in every small thing just so it fits in their narative

  8. Yes (@come-on-kubica)
    5th October 2022, 12:14

    I’d absolutely love the engine become unreliable and max dnf the next 4 races.

    1. @Yes
      I think you will be bitterly disappointed with that fantasy.

    2. Even if he DNF the rest of the season I bet he still wins the WDC.

  9. I think it is right for Honda to have their brand name displayed on the Red Bull and AlphaTauri cars.

  10. It’s a bit suspicious they add back the honda logo right before japan and when they’re about to win the title…

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