Turning Japanese with one-off liveries celebrate race-winning alliance with power-unit supplier. Red Bull Racing and Scuderia AlphaTauri are set to race with special liveries on what should have been Honda’s home race weekend.
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At this weekend’s Formula One Turkish Grand Prix, Red Bull Racing and Scuderia AlphaTauri will race with unique liveries to celebrate the teams’ race-winning alliance with power-unit supplier Honda and to give the manufacturer’s fans in Japan a chance to wave farewell to the company, on what should have been the occasion of its final home race at Suzuka.
The twin Red Bull Racing RB16B cars of Max Verstappen and team-mate Sergio Pérez will feature a predominantly white livery inspired by the legendary Honda RA 272 car, in which US racer Richie Ginther secured the company’s maiden Formula One win at the 1965 Mexican Grand Prix.
Meanwhile, at AlphaTauri, the rear wings of the AT02 cars driven by Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda will feature the one-word message ありがとう(arigato), meaning “thank you”.
Since Red Bull’s partnership with Honda was launched in 2018, the Japanese manufacturer has helped both Red Bull Racing and AlphaTauri to reach the top of the Formula One podium; with Red Bull Racing scoring 13 victories to date and AlphaTauri taking a memorable win on home soil in Italy in 2020.
In all, Red Bull and Honda have together scored 35 podium finishes and 11 pole positions to date.
Red Bull Racing Honda CEO and Team Principal, Christian Horner said:
We had all been looking forward to giving Honda’s Japanese fans a chance to celebrate our extremely successful relationship in Formula One, on home soil at Suzuka. With the race falling victim to the pandemic, we just couldn’t let the weekend pass without paying tribute to Honda and its amazing home fans by bringing a little bit of its heritage to Istanbul. The livery chosen for our cars pays homage to Honda’s remarkable F1 journey and hopefully, we can give fans another victory in those legendary colours this weekend.
Red Bull’s collaboration with Honda has been enormously successful and while our relationship in Formula 1 is changing, neither of us wish for that to be the end of the story. We are very pleased that our ambitious and exciting Red Bull Powertrains project will be strongly supported by Honda, technically and operationally, in 2022 and this will help ensure that Red Bull’s transition to the status of chassis and power unit manufacturer is seamless. Equally as exciting is the news that our collaboration with Honda will extend to a variety of motorsport activities, from driver development to other racing disciplines and even across the wider sporting world. This stretch of Honda’s Formula 1 voyage is coming to an end but together we are embarking on a new and fascinating journey.
Koji Watanabe, Chief Officer for Brand and Communication Operations at Honda added:
Everyone at Honda is extremely disappointed that the Japanese Grand Prix has had to be cancelled, while fully understanding and agreeing with the reasons behind this decision. We were especially keen to race at Suzuka Circuit, as it is our last year in the sport, at a time when both our teams are performing very well. We also appreciate that the Japanese fans were particularly looking forward to seeing Honda’s last appearance here and Yuki Tsunoda driving in his home race. We know that a special livery cannot replace what would have been a very exciting weekend, but we hope that Honda fans around the world, especially those in Japan, will accept this special livery as a small token of our appreciation of their continued support over so many years.
I’m glad that we have reached an agreement with Red Bull Group covering all the details of the IP rights for the F1 Power Unit and in this way, Honda can still contribute to the motor racing world. We are now working hard to strengthen HRC’s structure, so that it can ensure our fans will be able to continue to enjoy Honda’s role in all types of motorsport.