Red Bull respond to rumoured Porsche engine deal

Red Bull intend to make their own powertrains from the 2026 season, once the current engine freeze comes to an end.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has affirmed that the team’s ambitions to build their own powertrains from 2026 remain very much alive.

It was anticipated that Red Bull would start manufacturing their own engines and gearboxes out of Milton Keynes from this season after agreeing a deal to purchase Honda’s intellectual properties following the Japanese motoring giant’s decision to once again pull out of Formula 1.

However, in a remarkable turn of events, they decided to renew their partnership with Honda, who will continue to manufacture powertrains for both Red Bull and junior team AlphaTauri under the Red Bull Powertrains branding.

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The idea now is to become self-sufficient in 2026 and, to achieve this, Red Bull have been poaching employees from other teams and manufacturers.

One of those teams is Mercedes, and Red Bull adviser Dr Helmut Marko recently identified this as one of the reasons for the Brackley squad’s struggles thus far in 2022.

Horner has “no idea” if the signings have been to his rivals’ detriment, but confirmed the vast array of talent appointed by his squad.

“We’re looking to bring in the best people, and we’ve recruited people from Mercedes, from all the other [F1 engine] manufacturers, as well as many manufacturers outside of Formula 1,” he told Sky Sports.

“What we’re really focused on here is a real hub of technical excellence, both on the chassis and the power unit side, and seeing that come together and facilities like that [all] helps.”

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The Briton then disclosed that the factory in Milton Keynes is not quite ready yet, but he has an army of engineers and mechanics ready to relocate there when it eventually opens.

“We’ve got more than 200 people recruited at the moment within the project, and they’re scattered around the [Red Bull] site, but they’ll be moving into their new home imminently,” he added.

“It’s been a huge challenge, and I have to say all the contractors and suppliers have done an amazing job, because it’s not just the building, it’s what’s in the building.

“[We’ve got] dynos, machines, measuring tools, all the equipment that’s coming online to have a state-of-the-art power unit facility.”

Red Bull are the subject of rumoured interest from Porsche to provide them with Powertrains from the 2026 season but, for now at least, they are on schedule to make their own engines in four years’ time.

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“It’s been an incredible achievement in a short space of time, but everything is still very much on target,” Horner explained.

Red Bull sit third in the Constructors’ Standings, with the team suffering a double reliability-induced DNF in the season-opener in Bahrain, and a similar DNF for Max Verstappen at the 2022 Australian Grand Prix.