Rumor: Red Bull might buy Honda’s F1 engine operation (Update)

(GMM) Red Bull would only be looking to run its own engine program until the current ‘power unit’ regulations end, according to Dr Helmut Marko.

The energy drink owned camp’s top Austrian official does not hide that taking over the IP rights to Honda’s 2021 engine is Red Bull’s preferred option after the Japanese manufacturer vowed to pull out of F1.

“We would want to move everything to England, but we do need some help from Sakura,” Marko, referring to Honda’s technical base in Japan, told Sky Deutschland.

“More or less from the start of the 2022 season, we can imagine being able to operate it completely independently,” he added.

However, Marko insists that the Red Bull engine project would only be a stop-gap solution until new engine regulations are due from the beginning of 2026.

Red Bull officials have also argued that those new rules, likely to be simpler in order to entice new manufacturers into the sport, should be fast-forwarded to 2023.

Former Mercedes engine guru Andy Cowell is rumored headed to Red Bull to run their engine program.

“It would be a Red Bull project until the end of these regulations,” Marko said.

“We plan to do this only until 2025,” he added. “It is not our priority to become an engine manufacturer.”

For 2026, Red Bull would then like to team up with a new engine supplier.

“The new regulations clearly must be more favorable in terms of costs,” Marko insists. “And the technology must be simpler.

“In my view there should also be more noise and, very importantly, make use of synthetic fuel. This will make us CO2-free.”

October 5, 2020 

(GMM) Red Bull can build its own engine for 2022 and beyond, according to former F1 driver Ralf Schumacher.

At Sochi, prior to Honda’s shock decision last Friday to quit Formula 1 at the end of 2021, Schumacher had declared: “I wouldn’t be surprised if we see Porsche in F1.”

But amid speculation Red Bull could now buy Honda’s F1 operations, he tells Sky Deutschland that a better option for Red Bull might be to run its own engine program.

“They certainly have the strength and the means for that,” Schumacher, who once worked very closely with Alpha Tauri boss Franz Tost, said.

“Financially it wouldn’t be a problem. In Honda, they also have a partner who can help them during the transition phase.

“Perhaps Red Bull can take over the development department in Milton Keynes afterwards. Then they can finance it themselves,” the German added.

Red Bull could decide to take engine development under its own roof, though we expect they will decide to use Renault power units after 2021

However, Russian F1 commentator Alexey Popov thinks becoming an engine supplier would be a mammoth task for Red Bull.

“It is unclear what they should do after Honda leaves,” he told Match TV.

“If Mercedes stays in F1, it won’t give its engines to them. Ferrari too. That leaves Renault, who are obliged by the rules, but they parted with Red Bull so badly that it would be a very unpleasant collaboration.

“The last opportunity is to buy out what Honda leaves behind. But even then there is a problem with the production base, which is not in Europe like the other teams. So this would be very difficult too,” Popov added.

Yet another major consideration for Red Bull is that Honda’s departure is sure to trigger a potential exit clause in Max Verstappen’s contract.

“This could provoke an attempt for Verstappen to negotiate with Mercedes,” Popov said.

“For Russia, it (Honda quitting) wouldn’t be bad because if Honda had stayed, they probably would have tried to put Tsunoda in Kvyat’s place and now this will most likely not happen,” he added.

“In any case, the coming days will be eventful.”

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