Red Bull tease special Honda farewell livery for Turkish GP

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Red Bull has offered a glimpse at a one-off white and red livery that will be used as a farewell to Honda at the Turkish Grand Prix.

The Japanese manufacturer will leave Formula 1 at the end of 2021, with Red Bull taking engine production in-house via their new Powertrains division currently being created at their Milton Keynes base.

This weekend should have been Honda's home race at Suzuka, instead, Covid-19 restrictions have meant Istanbul returns to the calendar for the second year in a row.

Even so, that isn't stopping Red Bull and sister team AlphaTauri from paying tribute to Honda, who have supplied engines to both teams since 2019 and 2018 respectively.

In the case of Red Bull, they will run a livery inspired by the 1965 Honda RA272, while AlphaTauri will simply have ありがとう'Arigato' (thank you) on the rear wing.

“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," Red Bull boss Christian Horner began in a statement.

"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.”

With Red Bull and AlphaTauri, Honda has won 14 times and could claim a first world championship since 1991 before their departure.

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And Koji Watanabe, Chief Officer for Brand and Communication Operations at Honda, hopes their fans will accept this gesture in the absence of a race at Suzuka.

“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," he 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.”