Renault forced early Honda decision – Marko

Jun.20 (GMM) Dr Helmut Marko says Renault forced Red Bull into making an early call about its 2019 engine supplier.

Red Bull wanted another race to assess existing supplier Renault’s new specification of power unit against Honda’s.

Instead, the announcement was made slightly unexpectedly on Tuesday.

“Actually we wanted to announce the decision after France,” Marko, Red Bull’s motor racing consultant, told Auto Bild.

“But Renault set an ultimatum that ended on Sunday. We had no choice.”

Marko, though, said Red Bull was already convinced that Honda is the right choice, particularly after the progress made by the junior team Toro Rosso.

“The new update, which could not be properly used in Canada due to unfortunate circumstances, brought three tenths of laptime,” he said.

“So the deal with Honda is extremely positive for us in every way. Sport, technical and financial,” added Marko.

The Red Bull-Honda contract is set to run for two years, amid rumours Porsche might enter F1 under the new engine regulations for 2021.

Team boss Christian Horner says the decision to switch to Honda was made for sporting reasons, but also clear is that the Japanese marque will be a ‘works’ partner.

He said Red Bull got enough information in Montreal to make the call.

“Based on Montreal, the decision for us was unambiguous and it’s the right time,” said Horner.

“As for expectations, we want to further reduce the gap to the others. Honda has the infrastructure and the resources to help us with that,” he added.

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