F1: Can Honda give Red Bull Racing its 5th World Championship
Motorsports world has been flustered with the very much anticipated move of the 2-year engine deal between Honda Motor Co. Ltd. and Aston Martin Red Bull Racing. The deal is about much criticised Honda power units(PUs). Red Bull Team principal Christian Horner quoted “This multi-year agreement with Honda signals the start of an exciting new phase in Aston Martin Red Bull Racing’s efforts to compete not just for Grand Prix wins but for what is always our goal – championship titles.”
Considering the recent form of Honda this deal appears to be a brave one even though Christian Horner has said that the team has taken this step following rigorous data and performance analysis of its sister team Scuderia Toro Rosso. Honda on other side is happy with the deal and a new relationship with Aston Martin Red Bull Racing and have expressed this move as a step closer to the championship. The decision of abruptly ending the 12-year relationship with Renault came up as a result of deficit performance and reliability issues and as obvious it is, it didn’t go well with Renault who have reportedly said that they will make Red Bull remorse over Red bull’s decision to go for Honda engine in its quest for championship.
Honda in past have shown incredible performance as an engine constructor in the era (1983-1992) They have successfully dominated the constructors and have given several sleepless nights to big names of that era like Ferrari. Honda started off as an engine partner in 1983 with Spirit racing, however, their push for title quest started in 1984 when Tyrell racing started to push and achieved great results for the team and Honda. The first taste of championship success came with Williams in 1986 when Sir Nigel Mansell won the WDC (World Drivers Championship) followed by Nelson Piquet in 1987. Drivers in that era considered that they can power up from any grid position if they had Honda engines at back. Honda enjoyed 4 consecutive world championships with McLaren before withdrawing from the sport.
Honda returned to Formula 1 as an engine supplier in 2015 for McLaren, however, Honda didn’t perform as expected and continued poor form with slow engines and reliability issues till 2017 ultimately resulting in McLaren-Honda split and Honda almost lost its market when McLaren ended its engine deal with Honda, however, Red Bull sister team, Scuderia Toro Rosso decided to go for Honda engines in 2018.
This year Honda is performing better securing a P4(Position 4) in Bahrain and P7 at the difficult track of Monaco where Gasly almost caught the front group just behind Esteban Ocon in Force India. Honda Motor CO. Ltd. Is known for hard work and they have surely improved a lot, its brave of Red Bull Racing to give Honda a chance especially when they have not shown something spectacular since 2015.