As Red Bull Racing continues to weigh its engine options for next season, potential partner Honda is also carefully thinking about the ramifications of supplying a second team in 2019.
Red Bull has been pressured by current power unit supplier Renault to determine its engine plans for next year, but the Milton Keynes-based outfit appears to be nowhere near a decision, having just initiated talks with Honda, the supplier of sister team Toro Rosso.
The Japanese manufacturer, which met with Red Bull last weekend in Barcelona, has actually welcomed the additional time as it weighs on its side the pros and cons of possibly working with a high-profile second team.
Red Bull to meet Renault over engine deal after Monaco
“We regard it as a positive thing, giving us time means we have time to consult more,” Honda motorsport boss Masashi Yamamoto told Motorsport.com.
“We are very positive. To deal with Red Bull is a really big thing for Honda, because they are a top team.
“This gives us a sort of pressure as an engine manufacturer. We have to consider many aspects very well, can we really deal with Red Bull’s size?
“We have to feel the responsibility to supply the engine.”
The engineering logistics involved with supplying a second would obviously require a boosting of resources, both at Honda’s research and development center at Sakura in Japan and at its British base.
Current technical director Toyoharu Tanabe, who would likely lead Honda’s general trackside operations in the event of a tie-up with Red Bull for 2019, insits a partnership with the front-running squad would not go the same way as its unsuccessful association with McLaren.
“It was difficult with McLaren, but it was also a very good experience,” he says.
“They gave us very precious experience as a partner. We are now having another experience with Toro Rosso, which is very good.
“If we are going to be with Red Bull, we don’t think we’ll be together like McLaren. I don’t think we’ll have the same situation as we had like McLaren.”
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