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Red Bull: Developing Honda relationship 'very positive' ahead of 2019

Written by  Dec 30, 2018

Red Bull has described the ongoing building of their new relationship with Honda as "very positive" ahead of 2019.

The Anglo-Austrian outfit has obviously been keen to play up their new engine partnership, following their decision to drop Renault after 12 years at the end of this past season.

However, team boss Christian Horner has revealed the biggest challenge they have faced in settling down with Honda.

"Communication in any business, in particular in this sport, is a vital element," F1i.com reported the Briton as saying. "Obviously Honda is based in Japan but their UK base is just around the corner from us in Milton Keynes.

“We’ve obviously got a huge amount of discussion going on between the groups and so far it’s all been very positive."

Red Bull have been able to get a decent heads up in their relationship with Honda thanks to junior team Toro Rosso working with the manufacturer during 2018.

Indeed, motorsport boss Masashi Yamamoto claimed recently that the amount of collaboration with the Italian squad was much better than with McLaren.

"We had much better communication with the team compared to the past," he said. "As a result of that, we had a better connection between the chassis and power unit on the technical side."

Some of that also included elements of the Milton Keynes operation in conjunction with Red Bull.

"We’ve found a very healthy working environment," Horner continued. "We’ve been nurturing through the relationship with Red Bull technology, Toro Rosso and Honda, [so] we don’t go into next year completely afresh."

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The main reason for Red Bull's decision to change supplier was potential, as the upgrades Honda brought put them on a similar level to Renault with seemingly a greater capacity to improve.

Ultimately, the answer on if that calculation was right will come next year but the late season performance of the senior team does give Horner reason for optimism.

“I think after the summer break, we managed to get into a competitive position again,” he said after their level of competitiveness slipped during the main European season.

"There’s been a strong sequence of podiums there so I think we’ve made a lot of progress with the car in the second part of the year."

In fact, Max Verstappen would end 2018 with a run of five straight podiums, including a victory in Mexico.

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