Today saw speculation about a possible and unusual Formula 1 collaboration; will Red Bull and McLaren soon be working together? Is a big surprise in Formula 1 on the horizon? McLaren boss Zak Brown recently visited Red Bull’s engine department, rumours are spreading about a possible collaboration between the two teams where McLaren could well be taking on Red Bull Ford power.
As the Independent reports, the American visited Milton Keynes at the beginning of the month to have a look at Red Bull Powertrains, the engine department of the reigning constructors’ champions. The report says the meeting was also about the possibility of a “joint venture” in the future. McLaren will still use Mercedes engines until 2026.
Brown’s visit confirmed by Red Bull
Red Bull Powertrains was formed in 2021 and is expected to supply the effervescent company’s Formula One team with engines from 2026. Then the regulations change fundamentally and the contract with the previous engine supplier Honda expires, and despite a complicated relationship with Christian Horner, McLaren’s Zak Brown is pragmatic.
Only recently Red Bull announced that it would also be working with Ford from 2026. However, this is said to be primarily for marketing reasons.
Even if the talks between McLaren and Red Bull are still at a very early stage, Brown’s visit to the rival is quite surprising. The 51-year-old is said to have a complicated relationship with Red Bull team boss Christian Horner.
McLaren accused Red Bull of ‘Cheating’
The background to this is Brown’s severe criticism of Red Bull’s violations of Formula 1 financial rules last year.
The McLaren boss had not explicitly mentioned the racing team of world champion Max Verstappen in his letter to FIA President Mohamed bin Salman, but there he spoke of ” cheating”,
Horner reacted angrily to the apparent insinuation. He told a press conference before the US Grand Prix in Austin that he was “shocked and appalled” by the cheating allegation – while Brown sat next to him.
The McLaren CEO had last commented on the team’s future at the unveiling of the new car.
“We have some time to decide what we want to do in 2026 and beyond. That’s something Andrea (Stella; McLaren team principal; ed.) and I are slowly thinking through. We’re in no hurry and we’re very happy with Mercedes,” Brown said.
He said nothing about the Red Bull rumours so far.