While Audi beaver away at their marriage with Sauber, Porsche has announced that the deal with Red Bull is now off. Red Bull boss Christian Horner told Motorsport:
“Obviously with Red Bull becoming a powertrain manufacturer in 2026, it was always natural to hold discussions,” Horner said.
“Those discussions have now been concluded, and the consensus was that it was not right for Red Bull’s involvement in F1.
“We committed to becoming a powertrain manufacturer a year and a half ago, or just over that. We’ve invested massively in facilities and people and the first Red Bull engine fired up approximately a month ago.
“So it’s a tremendously exciting new chapter for Red Bull, and it’s never been contingent or dependent upon an involvement from a third party or an OEM. That was absolutely never a prerequisite.”
I wondered, a few weeks ago, if there might be something else at play. It was said that the new engine formula coming in 2026 is what has gained VW’s (Porsche, Audi) interest in the sport. It was also mentioned in the press that Honda may be re-thinking their departure from F1.
My first thought was that if Honda are thinking about re-joining as an engine maker, then Red Bull seems the logical choice and my concern was that Red Bull may be down the road with Porsche but in my mind, if the Porsche deal didn’t manifest, then I would consider it as a case that Honda was back in the game with Red Bull.
Now, none of that is mentioned in the article by Adam Cooper but he’s a sharp cookie and I am sure that’s crossed his mind as well but what he did share is that Horner said they are still open to other possible partners.
Wearing my tinfoil hat, I tend to think they were speaking with Porsche and Honda made a U-turn on their departure and that may have played a roll in the talks that gave Red Bull more confidence in walking away from the Porsche Rainbow. Just a ridiculous hunch but it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if in 2026, the Red Bull is powered by a Honda.