Red Bull’s partnership with Honda has been one of the most successful in Formula 1 history as the Japanese manufacturer’s $10,500,000 engine for their Austrian counterparts helped them get the best of Mercedes and Ferrari. However, Honda and Red Bull are both ready to go in different directions in 2026 and for this reason, the Japanese giants are in trouble “embarrassing” with their preparation, according to a report published by. Racingnews365.com.
The Milton-Keynes team has a very good business relationship with Honda. Red Bull won many world titles with Renault, but after the start of the turbo hybrid era, they began to struggle. Honda, however, helped Mercedes win their first championship since 2013.
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However, Honda’s decision to leave the sport in 2021 prompted the energy drink-based team to look for alternatives and start their own powertrains division. This was done to end their dependence on others. However, Honda deciding to stay behind created confusion but it was too late.
Red Bull already continued their RBPT engine program and earlier this year, joined forces with Ford. This became a problem for the Japanese giants as they lost employees to Honda. So, they now face a dire situation ahead of their 2026 partnership with Aston Martin.
How did Honda find themselves in an unusual situation?
After Red Bull decided to establish their own PU department, many employees switched sides to work for the Milton-Keynes team. They jumped from Honda and are already on the payroll of Christian Horner’s team.
Moreover, it was not only Red Bull, but AlphaTauri as well, who hired people from Honda. This created a space for Honda who are now understaffed for their 2026 engine development.
Therefore, they cannot work until they have enough professionals with them and prepare their engine for Aston Martin for the 2026 F1 season. Since it will be the beginning of a new rule, this makes the task more difficult.
Despite his departure, Honda wishes Red Bull all the best
With Red Bull poised to take on Ford and Honda alongside Aston Martin, the Japanese automakers wished the Milton-Keynes outfit all the best. Although they will be rivals in 2026, they want Max Verstappen and Co to maintain their dominance until 2025.
Furthermore, Honda also explained the ongoing media war between them and the defending champions. Ever since the Austrians started their strength training department, there has been a lack of information shared between them.
Honda claimed that while Red Bull knows about their progress, it’s not the other way around. Since they will be rivals starting in 2026, experts believe that the Bulls are playing it a little safe against their friends who will soon turn into enemies once the new rules are in place.