Negotiations between Honda and Scuderia Toro Rosso over a possible deal for the Italian team to run the Japanese carmaker’s engines next year have reportedly collapsed.
After the Sauber-Honda deal fell through a few weeks ago, rumours quickly emerged that the Red Bull junior team may take on Honda’s power units in 2018.
Despite its double-points finish at the last Grand Prix in Hungary, the relationship between Honda and its current works partner, McLaren, continues to be on shaky ground.
Switching its engine supply to Scuderia Toro Rosso could be a win-win for all concerned, allowing Honda to stay in F1 (on a lower profile) and saving the Faenza squad in the region of $20 million a year that it currently pays to Renault for customer engines.
In turn, McLaren can pick up Toro Rosso’s Renault engine deal, and if the Honda power units start to show better performance and reliability then Red Bull Racing can swoop in and address the absence of its own factory engine deal.
That was the theory at least, but it now seems that the enthusiasm for the possible partnership has cooled significantly.
Both Honda and Toro Rosso reportedly could not reach common ground on the financial terms of any possible deal. With the need to sort out the design of next year’s STR13 chassis, Toro Rosso apparently pulled the pin and will factor in continuing with Renault for its 2018 chassis design.
That may not be the end of the story, however.
Honda is desperate to stay in Formula 1 despite none of the current teams seemingly willing to want to partner with them, so its alternate solution could be to purchase a team outright. Parent company Red Bull has been wanting to sell Toro Rosso for a while, so this could be another solution.
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