Red Bull, AlphaTauri to run new F1 colours in Turkey

Part of the new livery, as teased by Red Bull

Red Bull and AlphaTauri will pay tribute to Honda by sporting revamped paint schemes at this weekend’s Formula 1 Turkish Grand Prix.

Although the full livery is yet to be unveiled, the Red Bull cars are set to be predominantly white in appearance, representing a significant change from its regular colours.

The livery has been inspired by Honda’s first ever F1 race-winning car, the RA 272, which took victory at the 1965 Mexican Grand Prix courtesy of Richie Ginther.

The rear wings of the two AlphaTauris meanwhile will carry a simple message ありがとう, translated as “thank you”.

Power unit supplier Honda will depart F1 at the end of the year; its home race – the Japanese Grand Prix – was due to take place this weekend before being cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Red Bull boss Christian Horner explained the initiative: “We had all been looking forward to giving Honda’s Japanese fans a chance to celebrate our extremely successful relationship in Formula 1, 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.”

Picture: Red Bull Racing Honda

Honda chief officer for brand and communication operations Koji Watanabe hopes the move will count for something for Japanese fans who’ve not seen F1 visit the country since 2019.

“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,” Watanabe said.

“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.”

Honda’s Red Bull association began with Toro Rosso (now AlphaTauri) in 2018, with the senior squad making the switch a year later.

The Japanese marque had previously teamed with McLaren from 2015-17, having had its own factory team until pulling out following the 2008 season.

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