Red Bull Racing finds itself with a big dilemma following the news that their engine supplier, Honda, has decided to leave Formula One after the 2021 season. Despite this, Team Principal Christian Horner has assured that the team is committed to racing and will continue to weigh their options for the future.
"As a group, we will now take the time afforded to us to further evaluate and find the most competitive power unit solution for 2022 and beyond," said Horner, in a statement shared on the official F1 website.
While expressing his disappointment at the inevitable end of the Red Bull-Honda partnership that only started in 2019, Horner said that he fully understands Honda's decision amid the current global financial crisis.
"As a Team we understand how difficult it has been for Honda Motor Company to reach the decision to step back from Formula 1 at the end of the 2021 season," he said.
"The shifting focus within the automotive industry has led to Honda's decision to re-deploy their resources and we understand and respect the reasoning behind this," he added.
Honda, much like most of the automotive industry, has experienced a massive drop in sales this year due in part to the ongoing devastation caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Apart from Red Bull, their sister team, AlphaTauri, will also be affected by Honda's departure. If no new engine manufacturer steps up and joins the fray in 2022, then Horner will be forced to face Renault with his tail between his legs. As it stands, current regulations will oblige Renault to provide an engine given that they are working with the least number of teams compared to the other two manufacturers. It will be a humbling experience for Horner, who chose to drop Renault in 2018.
Nevertheless, Honda has stated that they had already done enough work to prepare for the 2021 season. Red Bull also confirms that both companies still share the same goals for the coming season. At the moment, the Red Bull Racing Honda tandem is sitting in second place in the constructors championship behind Mercedes.