It’s official! Formula 1 (F1) team Aston Martin Red Bull Racing is finally replacing its engine supplier Renault after two consecutive years of disappointing results. The replacement? Honda, which will start this 2019 season.
The United Kingdom-based team said that it has entered a two-year deal with the Japanese manufacturer. This means Honda is now an official “works” or factory team for the first time in the motorsport’s history.
Last season, Red Bull Racing managed to achieve third in the constructor’s championship after it collected a total of 368 points. That’s a huge 154-point gap between them and second placer Scuderia-Ferrari, who finished the 2017 season with 522 points.
Their two drivers retired a combined total of 13 times with Daniel Ricciardo’s six and Max Verstappen’s seven. If not for those crucial retirements (though not all can be attributed to the engine), one could argue that Red Bull Racing could have been constructor’s champion last year or at least the very least finished second.
Its sister team, Toro Rosso, that uses Honda power units this season, on the other hand, has shown huge potential after Pierre Gasly finished fourth during the 2018 Bahrain Grand Prix.
Sadly, the three retirements of Toro Rosso’s other driver Brendon Hartley–two of which are due to other cars crashing into him–prevent us from seeing the true power of the Honda powerplants.
Aston Martin Red Bull Racing have a lot of issues that they have to sort out heading into the 2019 season considering their main driver Daniel Ricciardo’s expiring contract. If the Aussie agrees to stay with Red Bull Racing and if Verstappen’s driving style matures, then they will have the chance to assess if ditching Renault for Honda is really the “right direction for the team.”