Though not entirely ruling out the idea of their engines being re-badged, Christian Horner says Red Bull Powertrains engines will be simply known as Red Bulls to begin with.
It is not altogether impossible that Honda is about to lose out once again.
Withdrawing from F1 at the end of 2008, everything had been left in place (and paid for) to allow Ross Brawn to reap the benefit of the Japanese manufacturer’s work and money and win both titles – the Briton subsequently selling the team to Mercedes.
A few years down the line and one wonders if Red Bull, having bought the Japanese manufacturer’s engine technology might repeat Brawn’s feat and go on to win the title.
Speaking to reporters today after the decision to buy Honda’s technology was officially confirmed, Christian Horner said that from next season the power units in the back of the Red Bulls (and AlphaTauris) will be badged ‘Red Bull‘ and that currently there is no plan to sell the naming rights.
“If an exciting partner comes along, then of course it would make sense to look at it very seriously,” he added, “whether that be an OEM or another type of partner, a battery manufacturer or whatever. It really depends what the engines are.”
Asked to give further insight in terms of staffing, he admitted that much of the current (Honda) workforce will be retained.
“Obviously we will inherit the vast majority of HRD UK, which is the operational side of Honda, based in Milton Keynes,” he said. “So that gives us a standing start, in that already all the people that we already know and interface with, we’ll look to take under the new company.
“Then we are in the process of setting out some of the other roles that will be filled in the next coming weeks and months. But I think the agreement that we’ve achieved with Honda just buys us time to assemble the right group of people.”
Ever since Honda announced its intention to quit F1, once Red Bull admitted interest in buying the project, former Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains boss, Andy Cowell, who announced his decision to leave the company last year, has been linked with the Milton Keynes based outfit.
“What he’s achieved obviously in the recent ten years of the sport has been mightily impressive,” said Horner. “He was obviously a lynchpin of what Mercedes and HPP have delivered.
“I think that he’s obviously chosen to pursue, I think, other activities outside of Formula 1,” he added. “But of course, as far as engines are concerned, he’s been the guy that has delivered year on year. But my understanding is that his interests currently lay outside of Formula 1.”