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50 races as Red Bull Honda: 'Shame we have to end it now'

50 races as Red Bull Honda: 'Shame we have to end it now'

29-08-2021 12:21 Last update: 13:47


For Red Bull Racing and Honda, the Belgian Grand Prix in 2021 marks a special occasion. It will be the 50th race of the partnership. Honda's F1 director Masashi Yamamoto looks back on a fine collaboration in which almost 25% of the races driven were won.

The first victory was just the beginning

"It was so good when we confirmed the partnership with Red Bull because obviously it was the start of our story," Yamato opens on the Honda website. "And since then that story includes securing our first win of the hybrid era and now being in the championship fight. So it was a really good moment."

Since Honda joined Red Bull the team has won eleven races. Ten in the name of Max Verstappen and one in the name of Sergio Perez. Yamamoto is extremely proud of the goals achieved and says that Australia 2019 was the most beautiful moment, as Verstappen managed to reach the podium immediately.

For Yamamoto, that moment was even more beautiful than the first win in Austria that year. "You might think that would mean I was crying in Austria when we took our first win too, but I wasn’t," says the Japanese. "It was more like ‘Yes we did it’, and I had the kind of feeling that 'Now we have finally started.'"

Closing out collaboration at its peak

Over two years on, one goal remains for Honda: "to win the championship. Well, two goals, because it’s to win both championships! We want to win the drivers’ and constructors. I’d say I’m 51% confident! A little bit more than half and half," says Yamamoto.

After 2021, the partnership between Red Bull and Honda will end which Yamamoto is very sorry about. "Of course we are now a winning team and the fact that we have to end the project at this time is sort of a shame and disappointing. And also we are such a good team and a strong team now, we will really miss them and the fact we can’t work as partners next year."

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