McLaren Honda veto a blessing in disguise for Red Bull


In retrospect, Red Bull Racing are happy McLaren boss Ron Dennis intervened in 2015 to veto the team's wish to use Honda power for 2016.

When Red Bull and Renault were at loggerheads in 2015 over the dismal performance of the French manufacturer's power unit, Christian Horner and Helmut Marko made a push for Honda power.

But Ron Dennis, who had the right to veto and potential Honda customer deals, quashed the Milton Keynes outfit's request.

In hindsight, it was a blessing in disguise for Red Bull.

"I have to say for the first time: I am really grateful to Ron Dennis for having vetoed our Honda ambitions, otherwise we might have Honda engines," Marko  told

"The fact that Honda is taking so long (to improve) is surprising. I would never have believed it."

Red Bull subsequently continued its relationship with Renault, running Tag-Heuer branded engines which have made huge gains thanks to the manufacturer's uncompromising efforts.

Marko however still believes there is a gap to bridge when it comes to Red Bull's power.

"Unfortunately, we are currently number three in all areas, which makes it difficult. The Mercedes package is simply superior, and only in race mode is Ferrari close.

"Mercedes are half a second faster, even if Lauda says there are only three tenths.

"Mercedes can go into top performance mode in the race, you can see it when suddenly, it’s not possible to make an overtake because the Mercedes pulls away again, but they can only do it for five or six laps during the course of a race."

Marko also underlined the importance of scrapping the token development system, a decision which in itself was essential in keeping Mercedes' power from running away.

"It’s a blessing. Otherwise, Mercedes would never have been caught, but now Ferrari has succeeded," said the Red Bull motorsport boss.

"If the token system had remained in place, Mercedes would always be ahead with its technical and financial resources."

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