Once you're part of the livery, you're part of the team.
Last year, Honda made the shocking announcement that it would leave Formula 1, but now it's back. Honda and the Red Bull Group have just announced that they will strengthen their partnership with the goal of further evolving and popularizing motorsports.
Honda will not be the engine supplier to Red Bull, however. Red Bull invested a great deal of money in Red Bull Powertrains, its new in-house power unit department. The Honda Racing Corporation (HRC) continues to supply technical support to Red Bull, and this collaboration will continue until the end of the 2025 season.
Still, this new deal counts as Honda being directly involved in F1, and its logo will make a triumphant return to the livery of Red Bull and AlphaTauri race machines.
Honda and Red Bull have decided to enhance their partnership, starting with three important announcements.
At the 2022 Japanese Grand Prix, scheduled to take place this upcoming weekend, both the HRC and Honda logos will be included on the Red Bull and Red Bull junior teams' cars. These logos will be part of the livery until the end of 2022.
Sergio Perez has been given a new role as a Honda Racing School Suzuka (HRS) ambassador and will participate in the HRS Driver Academy, which will be held in November 2022 in Japan.
Finally, Max Verstappen, Sergio Perez, Pierre Gasly, and Yuki Tsunoda will participate in the Honda Racing Thanks Day 2022, scheduled for November 27, 2022, in Japan. We're also 100% sure the deal includes a brand-new 2023 Honda Civic Type R for all four drivers.
Honda Racing Thanks Day is an opportunity for fans to get up close and personal with all of Honda's racing machines, including local Japanese racing cars, MotoGP bikes, and now F1 cars. The star power of Max Verstappen alone will lure thousands of Honda fans to the event, where Honda usually introduces a new vehicle or two.
"Honda has invested significantly in hybrid technology over the course of our partnership," said Christian Horner, Team Principal, Oracle Red Bull Racing. "This has ensured the supply of competitive power units to both teams, for which we are very grateful. Our combined goal is to continue to deliver dominant engines and achieve the most success possible in the following three years. To mark this, we look forward to welcoming the Honda logo back onto the car from Suzuka onwards."
"The HRC logo on the nose and Honda logo on the side of the race machines of both teams represent the strong ties between Honda and Red Bull Group," said Koji Watanabe, President of Honda Racing Corporation. "Through the technical support provided by HRC, Honda will fully support the challenges those machines take on to become the 'fastest in the world.' We are very pleased that these machines will be unveiled at the F1 Japanese Grand Prix, where Honda serves as the title sponsor."
Red Bull was connected to Porsche's entry into the F1 world for several months, but that deal was shot down last month. It was unclear what Red Bull had in mind, but this latest information provides more insight. We expect Red Bull and HRC to work closely together on new and existing powertrains, with Red Bull likely flying solo from 2026 when the new power unit regulations come into play. In the meantime, Honda gets to market itself as an official F1 partner once again.