Helmut Marko makes Ferrari engine claim, reveals Honda talks

Red Bull are open to reigning their partnership with Honda.

Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko has revealed that he will soon be travelling to Japan to reignite talks with Japanese manufacturer Honda, with the carmaker seemingly “interested” in returning to the sport.

Honda officially pulled out of the championship at the end of last season but continues to offer Red Bull support through collaboration between the Austrians and their Honda Racing Corporation.

The manufacturer continues to supply support to Red Bull due to their power units being based on the Japanese company’s model; however, following the breakdown in talks between Red Bull and Porsche, Honda reportedly want back in.

It appeared to the world, like Porsche would be supplying Red Bull with power units from 2026 when the new engine regulations are introduced; however, it’s been revealed by the Austrians that the Germans were essentially demanding too much to agree to the partnership.

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Porsche wanted not only a 50 percent share of the team, but full control of their PUs.

Both of these areas were issues for Red Bull, with the side not willing to relinquish that much of the team but also having recently opened their own power unit department.

Marko has explained that actually the reasoning for opening a powertrain department was, after being left with little “choice” following Honda’s departure.

Incredibly, Red Bull even spoke to rivals Ferrari about a power unit deal.

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“When Honda announced its withdrawal, we didn’t have much choice,” Marko told ORF.

“We also spoke to Ferrari at the time.

“But you can imagine that if we had a Ferrari engine now, it probably wouldn’t run like a factory engine in a Ferrari.”

With Honda leaving, Porsche demanding too much and Ferrari clearly off the cards, the Constructors’ Championship leaders are fully intending on supplying their own power units from 2026.

Marko revealed that the team which is full of the “best people”, including, former Mercedes employees, have already fired up their first 2026 prototype in what is a staggering achievement.

“We built our own factory in record time,” said Marko.

“The first engine is running on the test bench.

“We hired 300 top specialists, some of whom were also former employees of Mercedes-Benz. Of course we want the best people.

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“We don’t yet have the know-how for the electrical part, but there are already contacts to become the best in that area as well. We are independent – we can do everything independently.

“But we are also open to a partnership to reduce the effort for Red Bull. There are talks with Honda, who are now interested in cooperating again.

“But it has to be done in such a way that Red Bull’s DNA is not endangered.

“It’s primarily about our unbelievable flexibility to react extremely quickly.”