Red Bull Leaves Renault for Honda Because They Want to Win

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Multiple disappointing seasons lead to massive Formula One shakeup. And Honda is the big winner.

Like every other business deal, Formula One sponsorships are all about returns. Companies spend incredible sums of money to get their logos plastered all over some race car. And obviously, they expect a return on that investment. So it’s not really surprising that after 12 years of sponsoring the Renault F1 team, Red Bull is jumping ship after several seasons of disappointing results. And the famous purveyor of energy drinks has chosen Honda as the replacement for their advertising dollars.

“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,” explained Red Bull boss Christian Horner.


“After careful consideration and evaluation we are certain this partnership with Honda is the right direction for the team. We have been impressed by Honda’s commitment to F1, by the rapid steps they have made in recent times with our sister team Scuderia Toro Rosso, and by the scope of their ambition, which matches our own.”

Red Bull and Renault once enjoyed a prosperous relationship, scoring driver and constructor championships each year from 2010 through 2013. But since the dawn of hybrid F1 power, that success has quickly disintegrated. Meanwhile, Honda is quickly moving up the ranks, and Red Bull brass see them as their best chance at competing with top dogs Mercedes and Ferrari.


Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the automaker is able to focus solely on building engines for their efforts. Plus, Honda’s success with Toro Rosso most likely helped seal the deal. Thus far, their F1 engines have proven as reliable and efficient as their roadgoing offerings. And should that really come as a surprise?

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Brett Foote has been covering the auto industry for over five years and is a longtime contributor to Internet Brands’ popular Auto Group websites, including Corvette Forum, Rennlist, and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, among others.

Foote has been an automotive enthusiast since the day he came into this world and rode home from the hospital in a first-gen Mustang, and he's been wrenching on them nearly as long.

In addition to his expertise writing about cars, trucks, motorcycles and every other type of automobile, Foote had spent several years running parts for local dealerships.

You can follow along with his builds and various automotive shenanigans on Instagram: @bfoote.

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