Red Bull to continue on their own after Honda leave: These F1 teams preceded them

27-01-2021 08:00
F1 News
Red Bull to continue on their own after Honda leave: These F1 teams preceded them

It seems that Red Bull will continue with the Honda engines under a different name from 2022. It is not the first time that Red Bull is driving around with different stickers than the manufacturer who actually built the engines, but it is the first time for them that the manufacturer has also withdrawn completely from Formula 1.

Of course, Red Bull had been driving so-called TAG-Heuer engines for several years in the period when there was some disagreement with engine supplier Renault. The difference with the current situation is that Renault continued to develop the engine. However, there are several examples in the history of F1 where this did not happen.

Williams from Renault to "Mecachrome"

The most similar situation is that of Renault and Williams at the end of the 1997 season. The British team and the French manufacturer were a dominant combination during the 1990s, but Renault decided to withdraw in the late 1990s due to privatisation of the company.

Williams wanted to continue with the Renault engine, which was seen as one of the more powerful engines at the time. This was done in 1998 under the name Mecachrome, the company that oversaw the construction of the Renault engines and in 1999 signed a deal with 'Supertec', a company of Flavio Briatore.

Williams then faced two mediocre years. This was partly due to the departure of Adrian Newey, but also to a lack of engine power. That clearly shows what would happen to Red Bull if they continue with the Honda power unit without a development freeze taking place.

Arrows from BMW to "Megatron"

Continuing with the engine of a departing manufacturer has also worked out well. When BMW turned its back on Formula 1 at the end of 1986, the Arrows team did not have enough money to find a new supplier. It was therefore decided to hire some BMW engineers to continue under the name of a new sponsor "Megatron".

The next two seasons were excellent. 1988 was even the best season in their history, finishing fifth. With the right people, it does not have to go wrong for Red Bull, although a freeze on development remains essential in the present day.

This article was written and originally published by Corwin on the Dutch edition of

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