Friday, July 20, 2018

F1:Red Bull's long, Contorted Road to Honda

As apparently this was Obvious to some. Although I guess you'd could have figured the Marriage would finally end...

Wayback in the Fall of 2017, F1 Fanatic's, now Race Fans Head Scribe Keith Collantine wrote how Renault was intending to end their fractious Power Unit (PU) supply deal with the Milton Keynes energy Drinks outfit, now that Renault had returned as a fully fledged F1 constructor.

Although Red Bull's never been Shy of changing the Powerplants in the back of Adrian Newey's creations, since Red Bull began life in Formula 1 as a Constructor in 2005 running Ford's 3.0-litre normally aspirated Cosworth V-10's.

then for the '06 season, with the FIa's mandated switch to 2.4-litre normally aspirated KERS assisted V-8 lumps', Red Bull chose to run customer Ferrari engines for one season  before switching to le Reggie;, for which they ultimately won four F1 Constructors and Drivers World Championships before they tried unsuccessfully to Ditch Renault in favour of a more powerful engine...

Thus since the 2016 Formula 1 season, Red Bull's been running Thar customer Renault PU's badged as Tag-Heuer Power Units instead, which supposedly was some sort of compromise to continue being propelled by le Reggie'.

Although I must say, it seemed that Red Bull further muddied the waters by forming their new partnership with Aston Martin, who's now the team's title sponsor.  Not to mention Adrian Newey having done design work upon Aston's Valkyrie road car.

Although Honda Motorsport's Boss has already confirmed the team will run as Aston Martin Red Bull Honda next season...

Meanwhile, we All know that Red Bull's "Junior," or B-Team the 'lil Bullz', aka Scuderia Toro Rosso took over the beat-up upon Honda PU supply deal this season after Sauber scrapped their initial plans to become the Japanese Manufacturer's first F1 Power Unit customer.

thus Toro Rosso agreed to switch to Honda power for 2018. in order to allow McLaren to jump ship to Renault, for which hasn't exactly gone according to Woking's plans. Since the FIA was keen to keep Honda racing in Formula 1, with Renault being McLaren's only option for this year's championship.

As not only has Red Bull agedly used Toro Rosso as Thar' measuring stick to see how well the latest spec Honda PU's perform vs. their rival Renault PU's, but Toro Rosso, specifically with Pierre Gasley's amazing fourth place finish in Bahrain, has seen the 'lil Faenza based squad vastly improve upon McLaren's past fortunes.

Although in fairness to McLaren-Renault, mostly upon the back of Fernando Alonso's 32 points, they currently lie fifth overall in the Constructors rankings, one place behind the Works Renault team.

Yet Gasley has outshone Fernando's team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne in the points table 18-8, whilst 'Der Helmut's (Marco) been itching to toss out Brendon Hartley along with his Luke-warm Bath-water, who's scored only one single point to date.

As Renault's fourth Overall with 56 points. Followed by McLaren with 40, Force India sixth with 28 and Toro Rosso P7 Overall with 19 points prior to the French Grand Prix.

 And thus, with Red Bull delaying its choice for who it's 2019 Power Unit supplier would be, they've finally announced that they'll partner with Honda next year, reportedly for two years, giving them the option to see what the new engine; Err Power Unit regulations will look like in 2021.

While is it just Mwah? Who finds it only slightly ironic that Red Bull decided to announce the news just days prior to this year's French Grand Prix in Renault's Backyard...

And while I don't see eye-to-eye upon a lot of things the Pied Piper Saint Horner says, I do agree with Christian that the current PU Regs' limiting teams to just three Power Units per season is Ridiculous!