Formula 1 | Horner: We weren’t mature enough to build our own engine
Christian Horner says Red Bull is now ready to create its own Formula 1 engine through its Powertrains program, and explained why such a project would not have been feasible for the Austrian firm in the past.
Red Bull Powertrains was created last year to take over the operation of Honda engines, frozen like the others until the end of 2025, while waiting to produce its own power unit for the next regulations which will come into force in 2026.
The Austrian team was previously powered by Renault, with whom it won all the titles between 2010 and 2013, before tensions erupted when the French engine manufacturer found itself in difficulty at the start of the hybrid era, which ultimately led to a bitter rift between the two parties.
Horner was thus asked why Red Bull had not chosen to manufacture its own engines earlier.
« I think at the time the investment was so high and the technologies so advanced that it would have been unimaginable, and we probably weren’t mature enough as an organization to handle that, when it’s now the case, » explained the British leader to the Beyond the Grid podcast.
« The regulations that have been put in place, with engines freezing until the end of 2025, have given us time to build Red Bull Powertrains in preparation for 2026. »
« And with regulations that are reasonably known, it allows us to take the leap. And of course, the capped budgets are a crucial part of becoming an engine manufacturer because otherwise we would never be able to compete with the manufacturers’ teams that have an unlimited research and development budget. »
Red Bull did not share Porsche’s vision
Horner does not regret that talks with Porsche over an F1 partnership ultimately fell through.
“As I always say, Red Bull chose to become an engine manufacturer over 18 months ago. During this time we have recruited some of the greatest talent in Formula 1, over 300 people now make up our Powertrains programme. We built a factory in 55 weeks, a state-of-the-art facility, and we produced the very first Red Bull engine. »
“Obviously we have been in discussions with Porsche during this process, a phenomenal company and a great brand, but it was felt that the fit was not quite appropriate for the direction we wanted to go.
« Nothing is lucky for us. There will be no input from Porsche on our engine, so that changes absolutely nothing. It’s an exciting new chapter for Red Bull as they become a manufacturer of units of power. »