Mercedes team principal, Toto Wolff, would have liked to see fellow German manufacturer, Porsche, enter Formula 1, although he has not ruled out the possibility of them rekindling a relationship with Red Bull.
Porsche and sister company, Audi, were given the green light by parent company, Volkswagen, to enter the pinnacle of motorsport earlier this year, and Audi look set to buy Sauber ahead of the 2026 season.
They will become a works team, moving the operation from Hinwil to Ingolstadt, and this gives them time to work on the new engines that will be introduced.
Porsche have also been developing engines in preparation for the new concept in four years, and they had initially reached an agreement with Red Bull to supply them and AlphaTauri with powertrains.
However, the German company started buying shares in Red Bull Technologies, leading to suspicion from the Red Bull hierarchy that Porsche were planning to take over aspects of the running of the team.
The Austrian team are set in their desire to remain an independent competitor though, and this is why they have built a power unit factory in Milton Keynes.
Their plan is to become self-sufficient in 2026, making power units and chassis on the same site, much like Ferrari do in Maranello.
They have acquired multiple engineers and mechanics to help them achieve that, but it still possible that they may outsource the engine work to Porsche or Honda, with whom they are mulling over extending their contract beyond the end of 2025.
If they do opt to go it alone though, Wolff is intrigued to see how that might play out.
“It’s a brave strategy to set up autonomously, having your own power unit and not being dependent on an OEM, that’s what Red Bull has always wanted,” he told Motorsport-Total.com.
“Now it really is – that’s the strategy they have initiated. I’m curious to see how they do with that in 2026, 2027 and 2028.
“It’s clearly setting a new trend and I’m also curious to see if Porsche might come in and brand the engine, or if Honda might do that.”
The 50-year-old was looking forward to sharing the paddock with another famous motoring name, but for now, it is not meant to be.
“As a Mercedes representative, I think it’s a shame we can’t fight with Porsche,” added Wolff.
“Porsche-Red Bull would have been a mega entry, a great brand. For reasons I don’t know, it didn’t work out.
“It would have been great for Formula 1 and for the attractiveness of our sport if that had come about.”
Red Bull and Max Verstappen look all set to wrap up both titles this season, while Sir Lewis Hamilton and George Russell are still searching for Mercedes’ first win of the year.