Red Bull reveal Japanese inspired livery for the Turkish Grand Prix in tribute to Honda… as F1 title challengers announce future tie-up with engine supplier beyond 2021
- Red Bull have revealed a one-off livery they will race at this weekend’s Grand Prix
- Livery carries a ‘Thank you’ message written in Japanese to pay Honda tribute
- Colours are also based on retro design Honda raced with in the 1960s
- Honda will leave F1 after 2021 but have agreed a new relationship with Red Bull
- Japanese supplier will aid the team in helping build their own engine
Red Bull have unveiled a one-off livery that they will race at the Turkish Grand Prix as a tribute to their engine supplier Honda, who they have also announced a future partnership with.
With a white base featuring red trim, the car carries the national colours of Japan where Honda are based, while also giving a nod to the company’s livery during the 1960s when they competed in F1 as a team and picked up their first victory with Richie Ginther in 1965.
In addition, the car carries a message written in Japanese on the side next to the Honda branding on the engine cover, translating as ‘Thank you’ as the team ditch their usual navy blue and yellow matte colours this weekend.
Red Bull have revealed a one-off livery to race at the Turkish Grand Prix this weekend
The team will race in red and white colours in tribute to Honda and their Japanese roots
The one-off design will be raced in Istanbul, which was scheduled to be the Japanese Grand Prix before the race at Suzuka was axed early in the season due to the Covid pandemic.
Red Bull chief Christian Horner now hopes the one-off design can inspire a victory for Max Verstappen or his team-mate Sergio Perez this weekend.
‘We had all been looking forward to giving Honda’s Japanese fans a chance to celebrate our extremely successful relationship in Formula One, on home soil at Suzuka,’ Horner said.
‘With the race falling victim to the pandemic, we just couldn’t let the weekend pass without paying tribute to Honda and its amazing home fans by bringing a little bit of its heritage to Istanbul.
The design is a nod to the livery Honda raced with in F1 during the 1960s, where Richie Ginther picked up the team’s first win a the 1965 Mexican Grand Prix (above)
Red Bull usually race in their more recognisable navy blue and yellow colours
‘The livery chosen for our cars pays homage to Honda’s remarkable F1 journey and hopefully we can give fans another victory in those legendary colours this weekend.’
Despite the excellent relationship enjoyed between Red Bull and Honda since combining in 2019, the latter will officially depart the sport at the end of 2021 just seven seasons after initially returning with McLaren.
However, Red Bull have now confirmed they will continue working with the engine supplier as they develop their own engines from 2022 and beyond.
Red Bull will now have Honda’s engine intellectual property from 2022 right through to 2026 which is when new engine rules are pencilled to be introduced into Formula One.
The car also carries ‘Thank you’ branding written in Japanese on the engine cover
The red circle of the Japanese flag carries the number of Red Bull’s lead driver Max Verstappen
Honda have also agreed to keep developing the 2021 engine to optimise it for new E10 fuel that will be run in F1 next year, that features 10 per cent ethanol.
In addition, Honda Racing employees based in Milton Keynes will now be transferred to Red Bull to help smooth transition.
The tie up will also see a focus on young driver development, marketing initiatives and collaboration across other motorsports.
Horner added: ‘Red Bull’s collaboration with Honda has been enormously successful and while our relationship in Formula One is changing, neither of us wish for that to be the end of the story.
Team boss Christian Horner is pleased to continue his team’s relationship with Honda
Verstappen (left) will continue to battle Lewis Hamilton (right) for the F1 title in Istanbul
‘We are very pleased that our ambitious and exciting Red Bull Powertrains project will be strongly supported by Honda, technically and operationally, in 2022 and this will help ensure that Red Bull’s transition to the status of chassis and power unit manufacturer is seamless.
‘Equally as exciting is the news that our collaboration with Honda will extend to a variety of motorsport activities, from driver development to other racing disciplines and even across the wider sporting world.
‘This stretch of Honda’s Formula One voyage is coming to an end but together we are embarking on a new and fascinating journey.’
The Turkish Grand Prix this weekend is the first of seven races to see out the season, with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen hoping for victory that will see him re-take the lead in the driver’s title battle from Lewis Hamilton following the Brit’s triumph at the Russian Grand Prix.
Just two points separate the fierce title rivals, while Red Bull will also be keen to reel in Mercedes in the constructors’ championship, who they trail by 33 points.