Red Bull won’t rush into F1 deal with Porsche
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Red Bull boss Christian Hornermade it clear that his team did not need Porsche finance its project to manufacture a powertrain, and that if the deal does not materialize, the new engine could compete under the name of energy drinksor that of any other manufacturer who is willing to pay for sponsorship.
The Briton also played down rumors that Red Bull could continue to compete in Formula 1 with Honda engines under new Formula 1 regulations. 2026.
The Volkswagen Group confirmed Friday Belgian Grand Prix that Audi would enter the category as a supplier from 2026, although he did not specify his plan to take over and change the name of the Sauber team.
However, there has been no statement from the other brand which is part of the German conglomerate, Porscheand no details on when they will announce their decision to return to Formula 1 for the first time since 1991.
Meanwhile, Red Bull is continuing to develop its powertrain for 2026 at its new headquarters in Milton Keynes. The tentative plan is that Porsche becomes a shareholder and that the engine is named after the Stuttgart manufacturer, in what will effectively be a marketing agreement, and that only a small number of engineers from the German brand would work in the UK facilities.
However, the deal has yet to be finalized, despite the fact that the regulations have already been finalized and published by the FIA. The various sources indicate that there are still a number of key questions outstanding, such as future shareholdings and voting rights. Also, Porsche’s impending public offering is a complication in terms of finalizing any deal.
And more intriguingly, it’s been said that some in the Red Bull factory would prefer to stick with Honda long-term. Even though the Japanese officially left Formula 1 at the end of last seasonagreed to supply the Austrians and their minor team, AlphaTauri, the booster until the end of 2025.
However, the latest statements from Honda suggest that they are considering a full return for the 2026 regulations with a new power unit. The obvious problem is that if Red Bull commits to Porsche then the Japanese firm will have to find another team, and Williams seems one of the few free options given that a return to McLaren would be impossible.
In theory, Red Bull and Alpha Tauri they could compete with different engine manufacturers, although this conflicts with the company’s philosophy of sharing technology, such as gearboxes, and is unlikely to happen.
A collaboration between Honda and Red Bull powertrains seems impossible, since the Japanese have always sought to have their own development in Japan, justifying it as a training ground for engineers.
On the other hand, Honda withdrew from the series to focus its engineers on new road car technologies, and the R&D effort in Formula 1 in partnership with Red Bull in the UK could be seen as something consistent with the initial decision.
Meanwhile, Porsche has no Plan B to create your own power unit if you don’t support the energy drink project. In case he wants to partner with another team, like McLaren or Williams, he should rename the Audi engine they design into the Volkswagen Group.
Horner He pointed out that, with or without Porsche’s backing, Red Bull is fully committed to its own powertrain program, having hired 300 people out of a total of 450, and that the badge the new engine wears is irrelevant. .
“Obviously we are going ahead with Red Bull Powertrains,” he said when asked about the situation by Motorsport.com. “They started the first engine before the summer break. 2026 is still a long way off.”
“We have a lot of time, and of course strategically we will have to do what is good for the team and for the company. Obviously it is between the shareholders, and there are constructive discussions going on with Porsche. “, he revealed.
When we put on the table if Red Bull could keep Hondahe said: “I think by 2026 nothing is set in stone. Red Bull Powertrains is built, we have over 300 people hired, so that’s our path.”
The Milton Keynes team boss has indicated that since the Red Bull engine project is already underway, there is no rush to specify the name they will bear, while Audi it had to publicly engage in its own programs.
“We’re in no rush because 2026 is still over three years away, so we’re in no rush. And that’s why constructive discussions are happening,” Horner said.
In theory, manufacturers must notify the FIA of their intention to be powertrain suppliers by 2026 and pay a fee before the October 15to have the right to vote on any future rule changes, although it is understood that the date is being decided between the FIA and the existing manufacturers.
Regarding the October deadline, Horner noted: “There is a date, but that doesn’t preclude a deal being done after the 15th, so Red Bull Powertrains will supply two teams in 2026.
The Englishman played down the suggestion that there is a debate within Red Bull about the way forward: “No, because nothing is going to change, because of the way the business is built, we have Red Bull Powertrains, which will produce an engine by 2026”.
“And the whole goal was to have an integrated solution between the engine and the chassis, so that everything was under one roof, being the only team other than Ferrari to do it like that. That’s the plan,” said he explained.
Faced with the question of whether the project could carry the Honda name or become a collaboration with the Japanese, he said: “At the moment we are very focused on our own plan and obviously there is a lot of speculation.
“It’s great that there are manufacturers interested in getting into the sport or staying in it, but Red Bull Powertrains is committed, we have the facilities, the power banks, the capacity,” he said. he declares. “We have recruited some of the best talent in Formula 1, and we believe we are in a very good position for the future.”
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