After their incredibly poisonous relationship with McLaren, Honda considered dropping the F1-programma, but Red Bull convinced them to stay. For the coming years, the Bulls will be the Japanese car makers’ exclusive client.
“The cooperation is going very well at Toro Rosso and will continue at Red Bull Racing in 2019,” Marko told Speedweek.
“We’ll be ahead of Renault and we’re happy with Honda as a partner for the next years.
“If it doesn’t go as planned, though, for whatever reason, Red Bull will leave Formula One.”
That’s quite some pressure to put on Honda. The reason the 75-year-old says this, is because of the available engine manufacturers. If Honda doesn’t work out, that only leaves Renault, Ferrari and Mercedes. Ferrari and Mercedes would never provide engines to one of their main competitors, which leaves them out of the equation. The relationship with Renault is also damaged, meaning they can’t go back there either.
The idea for the new engine rules, for which the original plan was to make engines more simple so more manufacturers would come to F1, has been brushed off as well, so that would leave Red Bull with no options. That’s probably why Marko said what he said. Still, a strong quote.
Source: GP Blog. Image: Red Bull Content Pool