Red Bull racing’s success story originated with the help of Honda engines from the beginning, but their relationship deteriorated over some franchise issues at the end of 2021 season finale at Abu Dhabi, which ultimately removed the ‘Honda logos’ from the cars. The previous dispute, however, has been resolved recently ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix, when Honda sent out a green signal to print their logos on F1 cars again.
Honda officially left Formula One after the conclusion of the 2021 season, but under a contract that runs through the end of 2025, its racing business, Honda Racing Corporation, has continued to help the Red Bull-owned cars on their power units. However, after an expanded relationship announced on Wednesday, Honda branding will reappear to the Red Bull and AlphaTauri vehicles starting this weekend, marking the closest the two companies have developed since the Japanese manufacturer’s works withdrawal.
Sergio Perez, the driver of Red Bull, will serve as an ambassador for the Honda Racing School’s driving program in addition to having the Honda badge shown on the RB18 and AT03 starting at Suzuka. On November 27 last year, a week following the end of the F1 season, the Mexican was joined by Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen, the AlphaTauri drivers Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda, and others for Honda’s HRC Thanks Day.
In July this year, Honda’s representative, Watanabe traveled with a Honda delegation to the Austrian Grand Prix. At the time, he stated that given Honda’s ambitions for the following generation of engines, F1 was “not a closed door” for the company starting in 2026. After its planned cooperation with Porsche fell through, Red Bull is understood to be willing to partner with an automaker on a technical relationship starting in 2026.
Following the breakdown of negotiations with Porsche, Horner stated that Honda logos will be reintroduced on Red Bull cars as part of their engine project partnership with the Japanese automaker.