Christian Horner insists Red Bull don’t need Honda or Porsche

Red Bull were set to partner with Porsche, which would've seen the German manufacturer supply the Austrians with power units from 2026.

With Porsche supposedly having ended their interest in entering Formula 1 with Red Bull in 2026, it does seem remarkable just how close the VW-owned manufacturer was to announcing a partnership with the team.

The deal was believed to have been done and dusted, following a number of rumours that the partnership had been agreed.

As is known now, though, that partnership for the new engine regulations is no longer happening, following some clear differences in what the two sides expected from the partnership.

Porsche were insistent on claiming a 50 percent share of the team, whilst also wanting Red Bull to have little to no control over their power units, which Porsche were set to supply from 2026.

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Red Bull weren’t keen to give away such a large stake in the team, which reportedly would’ve seen Christian Horner sacked as team principal.

The Austrians were also unhappy at the prospect of having such little control over the power unit, especially given the fact that they’d recently opened their very own power unit department.

Had the deal been completed, then it would’ve seen the way Red Bull work change dramatically, with the side having always been run on a more independent front, giving them a sense of freedom over their decisions.

Merging with Porsche would’ve ended any such ‘freedoms’ as the Germans would’ve controlled the entirety of its power unit operations and have most likely implemented a board of directors.

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Horner discussed on the ‘Diary of a CEO’ podcast that in the end, the Austrians realised that Porsche didn’t fit the side’s “DNA” and would’ve ended their “ability to make quick-fire decisions”.

“Recently we had exactly that dilemma where we had the opportunity to work with an OEM [Porsche] taking a significant shareholding in the team,” Horner said on the podcast.

“But it was recognised that our DNA would be affected if we could not continue to operate exactly in the manner that has made us successful with that ability to make quick-fire decisions without having to go through layers and layers of process and bureaucracy.”

It now looks set that Red Bull will supply their own power units from 2026, when the new sustainable engine regulations will be introduced.

The Austrians have already fired up their first 2026 prototype, despite their power unit department having been open less than two years.

Talks are also reportedly set to happen with Honda about a deal for 2026 and beyond, with the Japanese manufacturer having only recently agreed to return to the Red Bull family in a much bigger role as previously seen.

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“We are fully focused on a Red Bull power unit,” insisted Horner.

“If there was a like-minded partner that could contribute something to the project, then, of course, you would have to absolutely consider that.

“But it’s not a prerequisite.”