Front-row seat to Honda progress led to 'clear-cut' decision - Horner

© XPB 

Red Bull Racing's Christian Horner says the team's decision to switch to Honda power from 2019 was clear and unambiguous.

Red Bull and current engine supplier Renault had been arguing over the deadline by which the Milton Keynes-based outfit would have to reach its decision, with the French manufacturer insisting plans be made clear before the French Grand Prix while Red Bull said it was make its call at next week's Austrian Grand Prix.

However, with its choice clear, Red Bull ultimately complied with Renault's demands.

"We decided that based on the information we had from Montreal – our decision, driven by engineering, was pretty clear cut in the end," said Horner.

"So we felt that rather than things getting delayed, or taking further time, and Renault were also very interested to have a decision as soon as possible to get their own plans in place, so therefore we decided that the timing was right to make that commitment, make that decision, and hence the announcement today."

Red Bull closely monitored Honda's work with Toro Rosso and the genuine improvement of its power unit.

"We've been in a privileged position to have a front row seat to monitor the progress of how Honda have been getting on in our sister team at Toro Rosso versus our own power supply.

"It's been great to see that progress. We've come to the conclusion that Honda are making good strides, good progress on both performance and reliability, and therefore we've made the difficult decision to change power units after 12 seasons to something new for 2019 onwards."

Horner insisted that closing the gap with its Mercedes and Ferrari rivals was at the forefront of Red Bull's priorities, and that Honda offers a great perspective to reach that target.

"We've been trying to do that over the last couple of years, and of course the power unit is a vital element within an F1 car, and we're confident that Honda have the right infrastructure, the right resources, the right technical capacity and determination to help us in our quest to reduce the gap to the teams ahead of us, Ferrari and Mercedes," said Horner.

"I think the relationship with Toro Rosso has been extremely useful to Honda.

"Of course Red Bull Technology have an involvement with Toro Rosso through the supply of transmission and so on, so of course there are synergies there, and it only helps create further synergies between the two teams by having both powered by the same power unit.

"So yes, there are definite benefits from common supply, both for Honda, and for Red Bull's activities in F1."

Gallery: The beautiful wives and girlfriends of F1 drivers

Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter