Red Bull’s director of performance, Pierre Waché, has explained the scale of the challenge the Milton Keynes-based team faces in preparing its engine in time for the new Formula 1 regulations in 2026, especially as now Porsche are firmly out of the picture as a technical partner, this is a big problem for Red Bull.
The next generation of engines in Formula 1 will consume far less energy and produce zero net CO2 emissions from the exhaust, while producing three times the amount of electrical energy of the current generation. Although they will be, on paper, more environmentally friendly than those currently in use, the power units fitted to the back of F1 cars from 2026 will still produce more than 1,000 horsepower.
Asked at a press conference in Monza how big a challenge it is for Red Bull to get its first ever engine ready in time for the 2026 season, Pierre Waché said, “I think it’s a huge challenge from what I can see, clearly.”
“At the moment I’m concentrating on the current championship, but clearly it’s a huge challenge, even more so when you’re starting from scratch like they are.”
“You have to put everything in place, you can see the building they have built [in Milton Keynes], the number of test beds, the number of people they have now.
“In this business, the learning curve is very big and the lead time for parts is very long.”
Recently, car manufacturer Porsche announced that a potential partnership with the Red Bull Racing team to enter Formula 1 from 2026 as an engine manufacturer will never see the light of day.
Talks between Porsche and Red Bull Racing on the possibility of Porsche entering Formula 1 from the 2026 season had been ongoing for several months, but these discussions ultimately came to nothing and the Milton Keynes-based team will therefore develop its power unit on its own. Christian Horner had made sounds to this regard as far back as the Dutch Grand Prix,
“We’ve committed to Red Bull Powertrains, we’re circa 300 people now working on that 2026 engine.” said Horner,
“So any agreement with any potential partner or OEM would need to fit with that. We now have the whole team under one roof – with the synergy benefits that has with chassis designers sitting next to engine designers.”