Despite reports that Red Bull aren’t meeting their expectations ahead of the 2026 engine regulations, advisor Dr. Helmut Marko has insisted that the side are actually “miles ahead” in the progress they’ve made.
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has recently raised concerns about the new power unit regulations, following fears that the quality of racing will take a huge dive.
Horner revealed that Red Bull believe drivers will need to downshift on straights to harvest electrical energy, with 50% of an engine’s power in 2026 coming from electrical energy.
The other 50% will come from internal combustion.
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff believes Horner is making comments in a bid for changes to be made to the regulations, to cover the Austrians weaknesses.
The Milton Keynes-based team are, of course, building their own power units for 2026, having opened. a powertrains department.
They’ll therefore power themselves and AlphaTauri from 2026 onwards, with current engine partner Honda joining Aston Martin.
Red Bull will receive technical support for the new regs from Ford though, who are returning to F1.
However, it’s been reported that Red Bull’s initial power units for 2026 are currently well down on power, compared to their expectations.
Marko has insisted that this isn’t the case and that the Austrians are not “technically behind”; instead, the 80-year-old has revealed that they’re “miles ahead” of Ferrari and Audi when it comes to development.
According to Marko, Red Bull will test a “complete combustion engine with MGU-K and battery” this month, marking a significant milestone for the outfit.
Whilst he thinks Red Bull are therefore in a better position that Ferrari and Audi, Marko believes Mercedes are making a similar level of progress.
“I don’t think we are technically behind. We have brought in people from Ferrari, Mercedes, Renault and Cosworth [for the engine department],” Marko told Motorsport-Total.com.
“We have Ford as a partner in the sector. We have absolute top people on the combustion engine. And we have two very bright minds on the electric side.
“In August, we are running a complete combustion engine with MGU-K and battery. There we are miles ahead of Audi, we are miles ahead of Ferrari, and Mercedes is about the same.”