Even though Red Bull has been extremely successful using Renault power, the recent progress showed by Honda alongside sister-team Toro Rosso led to it signing a deal to use the Japanese engines starting next year.
“I believe in it, and the team clearly believes in it because they signed the deal. It’s exciting as well. You have Honda basically working for Red Bull and Toro Rosso only, so it’s purely designed around your car. I think that also is very good.”
“I spoke with them [Red Bull management] for a long time about what I thought of it.”
“Of course I knew this [was happening] already earlier than you guys. They always kept me quite close because I like to understand what’s going to happen with the team in the future.”
Yet, Red Bull’s other driver, Daniel Ricciardo, is a little more reserved with regards to next year’s Red Bull-Honda car.
“Honestly, I still don’t really know. Obviously Renault’s come a pretty long way this year. I know we still don’t have the qualifying modes, but our race pace, once we’re all fuel saving and all that, we seem a lot more competitive. So they’re improving.”
“As you can see Honda seems to be improving with Toro Rosso. I think it’s fair to say they’re both on the up – it’s just who’s going to get there quicker, that’s still the unknown.”
From the outside looking in, it’s funny to see Red Bull praising Honda’s progress, whereas McLaren feels Renault is the better option after ditching the Japanese engines due to their lackluster performance.