Toto Wolff: “Red Bull can be successful in running the Honda IP”

© LAT Images for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd

In light of Honda leaving Formula 1 after 2021, Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff says Red Bull can successfully continue to develop Honda engines.

With Honda leaving F1 and Red Bull saying they don’t want to return to being a customer team, the only acceptable solution for the outfit seems to be a takeover of Honda’s engine project. The team would then continue to develop the engine themselves.

However, the Austrian team said this would require F1 to institute an engine development freeze, as they don’t want to compete with engine manufacturers such as Mercedes, Renault and Ferrari.

While Mercedes indicated they are not opposed to the idea, Renault and Ferrari said they would not support it. Toto Wolff believes Red Bull has the expertise to keep developing the Honda engine.

“Red Bull is not only a racing team and a very successful racing team but also an engineering company,” said the Austrian.

“It seems Honda has done a good job in bringing updates to the power unit. There is some good stuff in the pipeline, and they’re still going to be around next year, giving it all to be successful in the championship.

“That’s why I think that Red Bull can be successful in running the Honda IP and developing the Honda IP. But then, in the mid-term, we are going to innovate, all of us, to work on a new engine concept that could be introduced as early as 2024 or2025. That’s where the attention of all of us is going to shift

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“I think for them going back to customer status is not something they are very keen on. I truly believe that Honda has done a very good job, and there is performance in the pipeline that gives Red Bull confidence.

“But equally I understand that they don’t want to go into a spending war with all the other OEMs on developing engines. It’s a sensible proposal I’d like to support.

“I think Red Bull is a tremendously important brand for Formula 1, and we should do everything to keep the two teams in Formula 1 and help them with the option of having basically works status,” concluded Wolff.

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