Red Bull to switch to Honda power in 2019 on two-year deal

Red Bull will use Honda engines from the start of next season after agreeing a new two-year deal with the Japanese manufacturer.

The team had faced a straight choice between continuing with current partner Renault or switching to Honda. After analysing the latest upgrades from both manufacturers at the Canadian Grand Prix it sided with Honda, which has supplied its sister team Toro Rosso with engines since the start of the year.

It is the first time since its return to F1 in 2015 that Honda has supplied two teams on the grid after after spending three disastrous years partnered with McLaren.

"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," team principal Christian Horner said.

"We have always taken decisions such as this dispassionately and with only one criteria in mind -- do we believe the outcome will allow us to compete at a higher level. After careful consideration and evaluation we are certain this partnership with Honda is the right direction for the team.

"We have been impressed by Honda's commitment to F1, by the rapid steps they have made in recent times with our sister team Scuderia Toro Rosso, and by the scope of their ambition, which matches our own. We look forward to working with Honda in the coming years and to racing together in pursuit of F1's biggest prizes."

Takahiro Hachigo, President & Representative Director of Honda Motor Co., Ltd. said: "Having established a good relationship with Scuderia Toro Rosso, we have decided to extend our Formula One involvement to the other team in the Red Bull family, Aston Martin Red Bull Racing, as from the 2019 season. Having two teams means we can access twice as much data as previously.

"We believe that working with both Toro Rosso and Red Bull Racing will allow us to get closer to our goal of winning races and championships, building two strong partnerships. Discussions proceeded very quickly, thanks to Red Bull's open and respectful attitude towards Honda, leading to a deal that is fair and equitable for all parties."

Although Honda has struggled to match its F1 rivals since returning to the sport, Horner is convinced the combined resources of Red Bull and Toro Rosso will help it develop.

"Honda's alignment with both Red Bull Formula One teams provides enormous potential," he said. "Honda will have access to a wealth of data from both outfits, with Aston Martin Red Bull Racing leading the way, and the opportunities for faster, more effective and more competitive development are doubled."

The team will continue to be known as Aston Martin Red Bull Racing due to its title sponsorship deal with the British sports car maker. The length of the Honda contract means it will also have a free choice of suppliers when the engine regulations change in 2021 with the aim of reducing costs and bringing more manufacturers into the sport.

Red Bull tried to end its deal with Renault two years ago and in 2015 was turned down when it appraoched Mercedes about a supply of its class-leading power units. The team often references its lack of power, particularly in qualifying, as the reason for the gap in performance to Mercedes and Ferrari.