(GMM) Red Bull will operate its own Formula 1 engine program for 2022 out of a rejuvenated building at its existing team facility in Milton Keynes.
“We are happy with this decision,” Dr. Helmut Marko told the n-tv broadcaster after the FIA confirmed that teams voted to approve a 2022 engine development freeze.
Red Bull had warned that only a freeze would make taking over departing partner Honda’s engine program viable.
“It a good day for Formula 1 – a day of common sense to freeze the engines because the costs are simply reduced,” Marko added.
As soon as the news was official, Red Bull pressed ‘go’ on plans for a brand-new company.
“It will be called Red Bull Powertrains,” Marko told motorsport-magazin.com, announcing that the facility will be built at the team’s existing factory.
“Building eight, one of our existing buildings, is being adapted into an engine shop,” he revealed, adding that the Austrian engine firm AVL will also be involved.
“Everything is happening now – it’s starting now,” Marko said.
When asked why Red Bull didn’t simply take over Honda’s locally-based operations, he explained: “The Honda shop is more geared towards the electric motors.
“There are not enough or even the latest test benches to carry out the necessary optimization of the engines.”
And Marko said the “one-time investment” of the facility and test benches should even prepare Red Bull to be able to handle the all-new engine regulations of 2025.
“The running costs will not be so much higher than if we had bought an engine from somewhere else,” he insisted. “It costs more, but not significantly more.”
And some of those extra costs may be recouped by selling the naming rights to the 2022 Honda-based engine.
“Not another automaker, of course, but some other interested company,” said Marko.
Following Honda’s decision to exit Formula One as a power unit manufacturer at the end of the 2021 season, Red Bull has reached an agreement with Honda Motor Co Ltd to use Honda F1 power unit technology from the beginning of the 2022 season.
Today’s announcement follows the FIA’s introduction of a Formula One power unit development freeze that takes effect from the beginning of the 2022 season. The Red Bull / Honda agreement covers the duration of the development freeze, enabling the use of Honda power unit technology in both Red Bull Racing and, sister team, Scuderia AlphaTauri’s cars until the next-generation engines are introduced in 2025.
In order to run the project, a new company named Red Bull Powertrains Limited has been formed. This new division will be housed and operated from Red Bull Racing’s F1 Team base on the Red Bull Technology Campus in Milton Keynes.
Red Bull Motorsport Advisor, Dr Helmut Marko, said: “We have been discussing this topic with Honda for some time and following the FIA’s decision to freeze power unit development from 2022, we could at last reach an agreement regarding the continued use of Honda’s hybrid power units. We are grateful for Honda’s collaboration in this regard and for helping to ensure that both Red Bull Racing and Scuderia AlphaTauri continue to have competitive power units. The establishment of Red Bull Powertrains Limited is a bold move by Red Bull but it is one we have made after careful and detailed consideration. We are aware of the huge commitment required but we believe the creation of this new company is the most competitive option for both teams.”
Christian Horner, Red Bull Racing Team Principal, added: “This agreement represents a significant step for Red Bull in its Formula One journey. We were understandably disappointed when Honda made the decision to leave the sport as an engine manufacturer, as our relationship yielded immediate success, but we are grateful for their support in facilitating this new agreement. Honda has invested significantly in hybrid technology to ensure the supply of competitive power units to both teams. We now begin the work of bringing the power unit division in-house and integrating the new facilities and personnel into our Technology Campus. Meanwhile, we are fully focused on achieving the best possible results in what will be Honda’s final season as an official power unit supplier.”
February 14, 2021
Red Bull is already bringing Honda’s Formula 1 engine program in-house for 2022.
It was announced last week that Formula 1 will freeze development on power units from next season, so time is of the essence for Red Bull.
“Now everything is happening… now it’s starting,” Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Mark told Motorsport-Magazin.
“As of today, the course has been set for a new company to be established in Milton Keynes, that will be Red Bull Powertrains.”
“The Honda shop is now more geared towards the electric motors,” he said.
“There are not enough and not even the latest test benches to carry out the necessary optimization on the motor.”
“This is not only good news for us, but also for the whole of Formula 1 in general,” he said.
“This reduces a considerable cost factor.
“We’re crazy [to become an engine manufacturer], but we’ve done the math and calculations.
“It is a one-time investment in the building and in the test benches.
“But the running costs will not be so much higher than if we had bought an engine elsewhere.
“It costs more, but not significantly more.”