July 3 (Reuters) - Honda will continue to assemble engines in Japan for Red Bull next year after the manufacturer’s departure from Formula One, team boss Christian Horner said at the Austrian Grand Prix.
Red Bull are preparing to build their own power unit, recruiting staff from Mercedes and creating a powertrain company based in Milton Keynes, England, using the existing Honda technology.
Honda announced last year their departure from F1 as an engine manufacturer at the end of 2021 to focus on zero-emission technology.
“Obviously as we gear ourselves up within Red Bull Powertrains, 2022 will be a transitionary year,” said Horner.
“So we’re working with Honda to have a soft landing where the engines will be continued to be assembled in Sakura in 2022, before that process is being taken on in our new facility in time for 2023.”
Formula One teams and manufacturers have agreed to “freeze” power unit development from the start of 2022 until the sport introduces the next generation of power units in 2025.
Red Bull are making a serious title challenge to Mercedes’s long domination of the V6 turbo hybrid era and are currently leading both championships.
Dutch youngster Max Verstappen is 18 points clear of Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton ahead of Sunday’s race at the team’s home Red Bull Ring. (Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, Editing by Hugh Lawson)
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