Christian Horner says the talks between Oracle Red Bull Racing and Porsche broke down because the two parties had ‘quite different’ DNA, but their commitment to becoming a powertrain manufacturer within the FIA Formula 1 World Championship remains.
Ahead of the 2022 season, Red Bull took over the intellectual rights of Honda’s powertrain following the decision of the Japanese manufacturer to withdraw from Formula 1, and the Milton Keynes-based team have been building a new building to accommodate their planned engine department.
Talks began between Red Bull and Porsche about becoming partners, which would have allowed the German marque to return to the sport for the first time since the early 1990s. However, Horner, the Team Principal at Red Bull, says the discussions have now concluded, with Porsche’s request for a fifty-per-cent buy-in of the team proving a sticking point.
“Obviously with Red Bull becoming a powertrain manufacturer in 2026, it was always natural to hold discussions,” said Horner to Motorsport.com. “Those discussions have now been concluded, and the consensus was that it was not right for Red Bull’s involvement in F1.
“We committed to becoming a powertrain manufacturer a year and a half ago, or just over that. We’ve invested massively in facilities and people and the first Red Bull engine fired up approximately a month ago.
“So it’s a tremendously exciting new chapter for Red Bull, and it’s never been contingent or dependent upon an involvement from a third party or an OEM. That was absolutely never a prerequisite.”
Horner was asked if a financial contribution from Porsche would have been beneficial to Red Bull, he said it would have been but only if the two parties’ DNA could coexist.
“Only if it fitted with our DNA and our long term strategy,” Horner said. “There was never a financial discussion. Porsche is a great brand. But the DNA is quite different. During the discussion process it became clear that there was a strategic non-alignment.
“Red Bull has demonstrated what it’s capable of in F1. And obviously, as an independent team and now engine manufacturer we look forward to go to competing against the OEMs with the powertrain as well as the chassis.”
Horner says talks with other parties will be considered as they remain completely focused on building a Red Bull power unit, but they will only be interested in deals where it retains more power than it was willing to concede to Porsche.
“We are fully focused on a Red Bull power unit,” he said. “And if there was a like-minded partner that could contribute something to the project, then of course you would have to absolutely consider that. But it’s not a prerequisite.
“We will be the only team other than Ferrari to have engine and chassis all on one campus under one roof.
“We believe that for the long-term competitiveness of the team, is absolutely the right thing to be doing. And of course, there are other opportunities it presents as well.”