Red Bull wouldn’t have set up its own engine division if the team knew there was a full 2026 work schedule on the table.
Red Bull would not have formed its own engine department had the team known that a full work schedule was in place for 2026.
World Champion Max Verstappenwho is set to win his third consecutive Honda-powered drivers’ championship this season, said in Monaco it was a “shame” that the Japanese manufacturer was switching from Red Bull to Aston Martin for 2026.
“We spoke (with Honda) last fall and winter,” the team principal Christian Horner he said when asked about Verstappen’s disappointment.
Ultimately, Red Bull merged its new subsidiary Red Bull Powertrains with Ford for 2026, while Honda moved talks with Aston Martin.
But Horner said the Honda split is only happening because of the Japanese carmaker’s decision to withdraw from Formula 1 at the end of 2021 – a decision that has now been completely reversed.
“It was certainly an expensive decision,” said Horner.
“We wouldn’t have made this leap if it hadn’t been for Honda’s withdrawal, so in many ways we should be grateful to them for the impetus to create our own engine plant and the jobs it has created.
“Would we have made the same decision knowing what Honda’s decision is today? Absolutely not,” he admitted.
“But we did it and we’re committed to it, and the more we commit, the more benefits we see for the group in the long run.”