Red Bull is in line for an improved Honda power unit come 2024.
Speaking at Suzuka, McLaren CEO Zak Brown said that given Red Bull has largely halted development on their 2023 vehicle, the idea of an even stronger car down the line is “scary”.
Honda’s latest revelations won’t improve his mood.
“We cannot improve anything in terms of power and performance,” Honda Racing Corporation president Koji Watanabe announced at Suzuka.
“But we can still make progress in other areas with this engine,” he told De Telegraaf.
“At Ferrari, for example, they have developed the engine considerably and the ERS system from Mercedes is also very strong. We will also improve our engine for next year in terms of its lifespan.
“So there is certainly more in the pipeline,” Watanabe added.
Although Red Bull and Honda continue their collaboration in Formula 1, the energy drink-owned squad is crafting its own engine division, in association with Ford, set for 2026.
Red Bull’s move to form ‘Red Bull Powertrains’ was decided upon only after Honda initially planned to completely exit F1 at the close of 2021.
“I don’t regret that that decision was made in 2020 at the time,” Watanabe insists. “At that moment, in my opinion, it was the right choice. Honda’s management had made climate neutrality an important pillar.”
Honda later reversed course on that decision and will instead embark on a full works collaboration with Aston Martin starting from the introduction of the brand-new 2026 engine rules.
“Red Bull doesn’t tell us anything about their engine,” Watanabe notes, “and we don’t tell them anything about our development either.
“There is already a kind of information war going on right now,” he added, speaking of 2026. “Until 2025, I hope Red Bull wins everything.
“And from 2026, we will hopefully be their biggest competitor. Building a completely new engine is a huge challenge, but our goal is to win a championship in the next era.”