Christian Horner admits Porsche deal would have eradicated ‘clear risk’

Red Bull, as it stands, will be making their own engines from 2026 onwards.

Red Bull team principal, Christian Horner, is willing to entertain the possibility of reigniting the team’s partnership with Honda, but he is not desperate for them to return.

Honda announced that they would be leaving Formula 1 at the end of 2021, so Red Bull briefly went in search of another option, before deciding to build their own engines.

Having purchased the intellectual property of the Japanese car maker, the four-time champions realised that they did not have the facilities to make their own power units, so they retained their partnership.

This will last until the end of 2025, at which point Red Bull will have developed new power units of their own.

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New technical regulations will come into play in four years, with synthetic fuel and a greater reliance of electric systems emerging.

In preparation, the Austrian team have built a new facility in Milton Keynes, from which they will be able to build their own engines.

They have acquired some of the best mechanics and engineers in the paddock to work on the project, but there is still a chance that they may outsource that work.

It was initially thought that Porsche would be moving into the new factory and making Red Bull’s engines, but while the German company wanted to come on board as a shareholder, the team purely wanted to be a customer to the Volkswagen subsidiary.

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That deal fell through as a result, but Horner remains confident that he has the right people at his disposal to make V6 engines.

“When Honda announced their exit from Formula 1, we changed our attitude and decided to build engines ourselves,” he told Speed Week.

“That was associated with a clear risk, so a partnership with a fantastic company like Porsche was considered. It would have made perfect sense.

“But at the same time, we managed to attract highly qualified engineers who are among the best in Formula 1 for our engine project. We set up the factory in 55 weeks and we already have our first V6 on the test bench.

“We developed it entirely by ourselves, we think we have the skills to go our own way.”

Regarding Porsche, the 48-year-old insists that he wants Red Bull to remain the team that they have been since 2005, only now, they are set to become entirely self-sufficient.

“Porsche might have made sense, but it would have significantly changed the identity and integrity of our team,” explained Horner.

“In the future, we will be the only team besides Ferrari that builds the car and engine on the same site. It’s the next chapter in our F1 history.”

Horner will consider a rekindling of Red Bull’s relationship with Honda, but it is not a necessity.

“With the new rules for 2026, it’s a completely new situation,” he stated.

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“Honda justified its exit by concentrating on the electrification of production cars, but with the new regulations and the 50-50 split between combustion and electric motors, there is an interesting new situation.

“It would be logical and interesting to discuss the new situation with Honda, but it’s not an urgency,”

Red Bull are set to win their fifth Constructors’ Championship this season, while Max Verstappen is on the verge of sealing his second consecutive drivers’ crown.