Christian Horner eyes return to the top for Red Bull after engine switch

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner

Team principal Christian Horner hopes Red Bull's gamble to ditch Renault for Honda engines will fire them back to Formula One glory.

Red Bull confirmed ahead of this week's French Grand Prix that they are divorcing from Renault, a partnership which yielded eight drivers' and constructors' championships, at the end of the year.

Red Bull's relationship with the French manufacturer has turned sour in recent seasons, and the former world champions believe a move to Honda power for the next two years will provide them with their best chance of usurping Mercedes and Ferrari.

Daniel Ricciardo, a two-time winner for Red Bull this season, is out of contract at the end of the year, while Dutchman Max Verstappen, 20, is tied down to the team for at least another two seasons.

Horner said: "This multi-year agreement with Honda signals the start of an exciting new phase in Aston Martin Red Bull Racing's efforts to compete not just for grand prix wins but for what is always our goal - championship titles.

"We have always taken decisions such as this dispassionately and with only one criteria in mind - do we believe the outcome will allow us to compete at a higher level.

"After careful consideration and evaluation we are certain this partnership with Honda is the right direction for the team."

McLaren blamed Honda for their miserable failings in recent years, and paid roughly £60million to severe ties with the Japanese manufacturer midway through their long-term deal.

But the British team's troubles have deepened this season, despite switching to Renault engines, while Honda's stock has risen since they teamed up with Red Bull's junior team Toro Rosso.

Horner added: "We have been impressed by Honda's commitment to F1, by the rapid steps they have made in recent times with our sister team Toro Rosso, and by the scope of their ambition, which matches our own.

"We look forward to working with Honda in the coming years and to racing together in pursuit of F1's biggest prizes."

Sebastian Vettel won four consecutive championships as Red Bull proved the sport's dominant force between 2010 and 2013, but the Milton Keynes team has been off the pace of both Mercedes and Ferrari in the hybrid era.

Red Bull have closed the gap to the top two teams this year, however, and in Ricciardo and Verstappen boast arguably the best driver pairing on the grid.

Ricciardo, 28, is interested in a move to Mercedes or Ferrari, but it is probable that Valtteri Bottas will be retained alongside Lewis Hamilton by the former. Vettel meanwhile, is unlikely to want the Australian to challenge his number one status at Ferrari.

Related F1 links

Like what you've read?
Help your friends Know It All by sharing this article to your social media.

Most Read

Get all the latest football gossip from the day's back pages1

Paper Talk: Wan-Bissaka battle

Aaron Wan-Bissaka is attracting interest from top Premier League clubs and Man City to be priced out of race for Dutch star, according to the back pages.

Check out our latest racing Nap2

Daily Nap: Air raid

David Ord sides with a Tom George-trained top weight at Wincanton on Thursday as he looks to get back to winning ways.

Check out our preview of the day's action3

Thursday's racing preview

Anita Chambers makes Glory Of Paris her best bet and she has a tip for every race in the UK and Ireland.

Mark Allen4

Masters Snooker: Results & schedule

The draw, schedule, results and odds from the 2019 Dafabet Masters, which will take place from January 13-20 at Alexandra Palace in London.

The latest done deals and transfer rumours with Sporting Life
5

The Transfer Market: Live

Keep up with all the latest transfer news reports and rumours along with the details of all the done deals and latest betting odds.

Most Read

Get all the latest football gossip from the day's back pages1

Paper Talk: Wan-Bissaka battle

Aaron Wan-Bissaka is attracting interest from top Premier League clubs and Man City to be priced out of race for Dutch star, according to the back pages.

Check out our latest racing Nap2

Daily Nap: Air raid

David Ord sides with a Tom George-trained top weight at Wincanton on Thursday as he looks to get back to winning ways.

Check out our preview of the day's action3

Thursday's racing preview

Anita Chambers makes Glory Of Paris her best bet and she has a tip for every race in the UK and Ireland.

Mark Allen4

Masters Snooker: Results & schedule

The draw, schedule, results and odds from the 2019 Dafabet Masters, which will take place from January 13-20 at Alexandra Palace in London.

The latest done deals and transfer rumours with Sporting Life
5

The Transfer Market: Live

Keep up with all the latest transfer news reports and rumours along with the details of all the done deals and latest betting odds.

Racing Tips

Check out our latest racing Nap

Daily Nap: Air raid

David Ord sides with a Tom George-trained top weight at Wincanton on Thursday as he looks to get back to winning ways.

Check out our preview of the day's action

Thursday's racing preview

Anita Chambers makes Glory Of Paris her best bet and she has a tip for every race in the UK and Ireland.

Mister Whitaker is backed to fulfil his potential

Antepost Angle: Gold Cup & Ryanair

Matt Brocklebank's latest antepost preview focuses on two of the biggest races of Cheltenham Festival week - the Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup and the Ryanair Chase.

Next Race Off

10:40 Kenilworth
1
(13)
Fluttering
J: M J Byleveld
13
(8)
Round The Horn
J: A Domeyer
14
(11)
Sleeping Single
J: R Fourie

Football Tips

Our best bets for the latest FA Cup round

Saints to take second chance

Southampton and Derby played out an entertaining 2-2 draw last time out, but George Pitts expects it to be more straightforward this time around.

Our best bets for Norwich v Birmingham

Friday night shots at Carrow Road

With 6/1, 9/1 and 11/1 winners among others in 2019 already, Tom Carnduff picks out three best bets for Friday night's game.

Sporting Life Price Boost for Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Sporting Life Price Boost

Sky Bet have enhanced the odds of a treble on Wednesday's football, exclusively for Sporting Life readers.