For several months, the announcement of the association between Red Bull and Porsche for the 2026 season, when new engine regulations come into force. It was understood that Porsche was to buy 50% of the Austrian team’s shares and participate in the development of the all-new engine that Red Bull Powertrains is already working on. However, as the two parties finalized the details of the contract, the machine jammed to the point of seeing any chance of an agreement vanish.
In Milton Keynes, the question was whether it was necessary to sacrifice independence and responsiveness, which have been the pillars of Red Bull’s success in the premier category, to partner with a major manufacturer. Thus the team demanded that its partnership with Porsche be done according to its conditions, that is to say without shareholding. And the negotiations failed by reaching a point of no return.
F1 hoped to attract two new manufacturers for 2026, Audi having already made its announcement, but the vagueness around the arrival of Porsche compromises this dream. However, Stefano Domenicali reveals that other automakers are intentionally keeping a low profile while waiting for the right opportunity to arise.
« I can only say that Porsche is an integral part of the group that discussed and continues to discuss the engine rules that will come into effect in 2026 »says the CEO of F1 regarding the current situation of Porsche. « We have all read the comments from Porsche and Red Bull, and they will decide what to do. But I believe that we, F1, are currently a very inclusive platform. There are also other builders sitting at the table of engineers who prefer not to show themselves in broad daylight. »
In addition, Domenicali believes that the 2026 engine regulations are very attractive and that the championship is strong enough to survive the constant comings and goings of car manufacturers.
« For our part, we are not afraid »he says. “In the last Concorde Accords, we asked for only one year’s notice for teams or manufacturers intending to leave Formula 1. In the past, the rules were much stricter.
« This change was made because we feel strong and robust enough to move forward anyway, and because there are some really good B-plans. Never in the past have we had a mix of teams, manufacturers and engine suppliers of the highest level. If something changes, we know what to do. »
Interview by Roberto Chinchero