Source: ‘Christian Horner afraid he will be fired if Porsche takes control’

Talks about a partnership appear to have broken down.

Porsche’s deal with Red Bull seems dead in the water after concerns that the Austrian company would lose control of the team.

Volkswagen showed an interest at the start of the season, with reports emerging that their subsidiaries – Porsche and Audi – wanted to enter Formula 1.

Initial indications were that they wanted to combine and make a powertrain that they would supply to McLaren and Red Bull, but their true intentions have become clearer since then.

Audi are looking to buy a team in 2026, and they confirmed ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix that they would be walking into F1 in 2026.

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While the German motoring giant will be a new team, they will not have to pay the $200 million entry fees that new constructors are currently required to pay, because of their purchase of an existing one.

It is now almost certain that this team will be Sauber, who are set to end their partnership with Alfa Romeo at the end of next year.

Audi will also become a works team, which is why it makes sense for them to enter in 2026, as this is when the new engine regulations come into play.

Porsche had initially wanted to come on board in Milton Keynes as an engine supplier for Red Bull and AlphaTauri, and it looked as though they were going to get a seat at the table when they submitted paperwork to purchase 50 percent of Red Bull technologies.

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They have also registered the trademark, “F1nally,” so all looked set for them to move into Red Bull’s new engine facility and construct their new engines.

But, according to, alarm bells started ringing when Audi CEO, Mateus Duesmann, announced that both Audi and their sister company would be entering the sport in 2026.

This led Red Bull to think that Porsche were planning to take controlling interest over the company, resulting in them having neither hand on the wheel.

Such was the concern about a hostile takeover that team principal, Christian Horner, feared that he might lose his job.

“We hear rumours about Christian Horner and the new deal with Porsche,” F1 journalist, Olav Mol, told GP33, quoted by the Express.

“According to our sources, Christian Horner is afraid that he will be fired if Porsche takes control of Red Bull.”

Horner affirmed during the Dutch Grand Prix weekend that he is more focused on Red Bull’s engine project than he is on Porsche.

“There’s not really too much to report, we’ve consistently said we are pushing on with Red Bull Powertrains,” he told Sky Sports.

“It’s making great strides, with our first fire-up of the first ever Red Bull engine a couple of weeks ago.

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“So, 2026 is a long way away and we are very focused on our plan, on the engine we are producing, with the talent we are bringing into the team. 

“It’s great to see Audi coming into the sport and anything Red Bull would consider would have to fit in with the long-term strategy of the team, there’s plenty of time ahead.”

Max Verstappen took victory in the Netherlands on Sunday, extending his lead to 109 points over Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, who finished third.