Earlier this week Honda has announced its return to F1 as supplier of Aston Martin engines for 2026.
The news comes less than three years after Honda announced it was leaving F1.
Honda’s decision came just before Red Bull won the 2021 championship, and their success in the championship was partly down to the Japanese manufacturer’s outstanding power unit.
While Honda continues to manage the current engine, Red Bull has decided to build its own powerplant for the new regulations in 2026.
Before the Monaco Grand Prix weekend, Max Verstappen admitted it was “a pity” that Honda would no longer work with the team from 2026.
Horner echoed his famous driver’s thoughts and stated that they would not have created Red Bull Powertrains had they known, in retrospect, Honda’s decision to return.
“Well, it was certainly an expensive decision,” Horner said on Friday. “For us, in the long run, Red Bull’s prospects, we’ve outgrown being a customer (a team) and for us, the power unit on site, on campus, fully integrated with the chassis and the synergy that creates with the engine and chassis engineers sitting side by side I think that in the long run the benefits are significant for us.
“We wouldn’t have made this leap if it hadn’t been for Honda’s withdrawal. In many ways, we should be grateful for the impetus to create our own engine manufacturing facility – the jobs created and secured and of course the partnership we have with Ford is particularly exciting.
“The commitment of Red Bull and shareholders to the project. Would we have made the same decision knowing what Honda’s decision was today? Absolutely not, but we did and we are committed to it. Once we get involved, we see more benefits for the group in the long run.”
Horner believes Honda’s return to Aston Martin is the only positive news for F1 as a whole.
This means that six engine manufacturers are registered for 2026 – Honda, Red Bull-Ford, Mercedes, Ferrari, Renault (Alpine) and Audi.
“I think it’s positive for Honda,” he added. “It’s positive for Formula 1. It’s a great brand and they have a great heritage in the sport. We have enjoyed and continue to enjoy, and will continue to do so for the next two and a half years, great relationships and deliveries with them.
“They obviously announced their withdrawal in 2020, which forced us to make a long-term decision that strategically would be best for us. We created Red Bull Powertrains, they agreed to be Red Bull Powertrains’ technical supplier and we have enjoyed a great partnership, but of course now we have embarked on our own journey as an engine manufacturer.”