Horner: If we had known Honda was going to stay we wouldn’t have made our own engine

Horner: If we had known Honda was going to stay we wouldn’t have made our own engine

Red Bull coach Christian Horner has admitted his team would not have gone ahead with developing its engine if it had known Honda would remain in Formula 1.

The Japanese company announced during the week that from 2026 it will supply its power units to Aston Martin, with Max Verstappen saying for his part that it is a “shame” that Honda will not work with Red Bull from 2026 and beyond.

Horner said they would not have started Red Bull Powertrains if they had known Honda’s decision to return to F1.

Well, it was a costly decision. For us, for a long time, from Red Bull’s point of view, we have gone beyond being a customer team. We build the power unit, the chassis, everything. I think for us in the long run profit is important.

We would not have made this move had it not been for Honda’s withdrawal. In many ways, we should be grateful for being given this inspiration to create our own power unit. The jobs created and created and of course the partnership we have with Ford is very exciting.

Would we make the same decision if we knew what Honda’s decision was today? Of course not, but we did and we are committed to doing it. Because the more involved we are, the more benefits we see for the group later.

Horner believes the return of Honda and Aston Martin is only positive news for F1 as a whole.

It means that there are now 6 engine manufacturers registered for 2026: Honda, Red Bull-Ford, Mercedes, Ferrari, Renault (Alpine) and Audi.

I think it’s positive for Honda. It is positive for Formula 1. They are a great brand and have a great heritage in the sport. We have enjoyed and continue to enjoy, and will continue to enjoy for another two and a half years, a good relationship and sacrifice with them.

Obviously, they announced their retirement in 2020 and that forced us to make a smart long-term decision about what is the best way forward for us.

We created Red Bull Powertrains, they agreed to be the technical distributor of Red Bull Powertrains and we enjoy a good working relationship, but of course we are now starting our own journey as an engine manufacturer.

Verstappen for his part said:

I think from our side, really, it’s unfortunate how it all happened, because a few years ago, they said they were going to stop, so Red Bull created their engine department, and then at some point they say no. we will continue. Unfortunately, since we are already in the process of building the entire engine yourself, we can no longer collaborate. It’s a bit of a shame, I’d say.

We have always had and still have a very good relationship with them, and to see them go to Aston Martin is a bit of a shame. But I mean we are also very happy from our side that from 2026 onwards we will be working with Ford. A few years ago we thought they would leave, now they are staying and going with Aston Martin. Aston Martin is very good, they have big engines, we all know that. That’s how it is.

I love working with them, we’ve had a lot of success already, so of course I’ll be sad to see them go at some point, but we’ve been waiting for that to happen because they’ve said they’re going. we’re going to retire, so we’ve already had some sort of goodbye. Of course, I’m happy for the Honda guys to stay in Formula 1, but I’m sad to see them leave us.