There has been fevered speculation recently over a future tie up between Porsche and Red Bull Racing with the former supplying engines to the Milton Keynes team. Recently it was reported that the Conseil de la Concurrence which governs anti trust laws had received an application to approval a possible tie up between the German automotive manufacturer and the Red Bull Group.
Certain media outlets have been claiming this is the forerunner to Porsche buying a 50% stake in Red Bull’s racing team.
However the small print reveals the potential tie up is between Red Bull Advanced Technologies (RBAD) and Porsche not the company which owns and runs the Formula 1 team.
RBAD’s website states, “Red Bull Advanced Technologies was formed in the unrelenting fire of Formula 1 competition as the high-performance engineering and sister business of Red Bull Racing. Red Bull Advanced Technologies brings its exceptional engineering, design, technology, simulation and production capabilities to a hugely diverse set of industries, helping to create a smarter, better future.”
“The same tools, techniques and methods used to win the development race that is F1 are applied to engineering challenges across land, sea and air at blistering pace.”
From Hypercars to Hydrogen racing cars and everything in between including such diverse challenges as bikes, balloons and sailing boats, with Red Bull Advanced Technologies the possibilities are limitless.”
It was always unlikely the multi billion Red Bull empire owner Dietrich Mateschitz would sell half of his prized F1 racing team or the group holding company that owns the team, powertrains and advanced technologies. He doesn’t need the money and any collaboration with Honda or Porsche does not require them to own part of the racing team.
Further this is no exit plan for Red Bull who have signed an agreement with Liberty media to remain in F1 for 10 more years.
Today Oracle Red Bull Racing said in a statement: “Red Bull and Honda are delighted to announce that the technical support programme that has helped take Oracle Red Bull to the top of the 2022 Formula 1 standings is to be extended from 2023 to the end of 2025, with Honda Racing Corporation (HRC), the Honda subsidiary responsible for its racing activities, continuing its successful collaboration with Red Bull Powertrains (RBPT).”
“Following Honda’s official withdrawal from Formula 1 at the end of 2021 and in support of the creation of Red Bull Powertrains, Honda agreed to provide technical assistance with the current F1 power units being raced by Oracle Red Bull Racing and Scuderia AlphaTauri. The collaboration has resulted in another winning campaign, with Oracle Red Bull Racing currently leading the 2022 Formula 1 World Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships.”
It may be that Porsche replace Honda from 2026 providing ‘technical assistance’ with the new Red Bull Powertrains for the next F1 power unit era.
Initially Red Bull Racing/Powertrains was thought to have acquired the intellectual property for the Honda engine but the new FIA 2026 allow certain extra ‘leeway’ above those existing F1 PU manufacturers for new engine suppliers they want to attract into the sport.
Red Bull Powertrains want to be treated as a new manufacturer for the next generation of F1 power units and given F1 has frozen power unit design, the Honda engine Red Bull is running is not technically a Red Bull Powertrain. This is why Red Bull Powertrains did not acquire the Honda IP.
They want to exploit the extra dyno time and other relaxed rules that a new F1 power train manufacturer will receive from the FIA.
When asked after FP1 in Hungary about the rumoured Porsche involvement with Red Bull Racing, Christian Horner tantalisingly replied, “We’re in a great position. The team is very strong. Red Bull power trains are going from strength to strength.”
Red Bull have built a huge ‘Rindt’ factory facility to design, test and produce engines in just 55 weeks. Horner revealed it was due to “shortly fire up” its first test engines.
The Red Bull team boss also explained Red Bull have invested heavily in this facility given the “decades of catchup we are playing on the likes of Ferrari, Mercedes and Renault.”
Having been burned by being a customer team at the start of the new V6 hybrid era and almost having no guaranteed engine supply for the following season, it has been a long term goal for Newey and Horner to be masters of their own destiny where F1 power units are concerned.
The Red Bull/Porsche collaboration requesting anti trust approval is not for a link up with either the Red Bull Racing team or their power unit division. Horner has repeatedly stated the vast cost of the new ‘Rindt’ facility and the catch up Red Bull are playing on other F1 power manufacturers so why would they let Porsche take all the glory.
The final part of today’s statement makes it plain the direction Red Bull are taking for the 2026 power trains.
“And while Honda’s official withdrawal from Formula 1 allowed the company to divert PU development resources towards meeting the company’s future carbon-neutral goals, the ongoing agreement with Red Bull does not involve PU development, and HRC will be able to continue its collaboration with Red Bull from within its current resources,” the statement concluded.
When this arrangement finishes, it may be Red Bull and Porsche collaborate as new F1 engine manufacturers, but it is probable for the Red Bull Team the powertrain will be badged as a Red Bull.
It’s possible Porsche may well supply Alpha Tauri a Porsche branded power unit and even non-Red Bull family teams who would probably prefer not to be sponsored directly with the Red Bull brand and muddy the waters with their own sponsors.
But in 2026 given the huge investment made by Red Bull on power trains, the Red Bull car will sport its own engine design. So a tie up between the Red Bull Racing team directly with Porsche, or Porsche buying 50% of the racing team are clearly dead in the water.