Red Bull Racing Team Consultant Dr Helmut Marko and Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner walk in the Paddock prior to final practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Saudi Arabia at Jeddah Corniche Circuit on March 18, 2023 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

F1: Dr. Helmut Marko sounds off on 2026 Power Units

Dr. Helmut Marko calls out Red Bull’s main rivals for opposing their push for lighter 2026 Formula 1 Power Units.

“Vasseur continues his love affair with Toto [Wolff], so there is little resonance at Ferrari.

“At Renault, they don’t know what they’re doing.”

Marko shut down Toto Wolff’s allegation of Red Bull falling behind schedule on their 2026 engine.

“In early August, we had a complete combustion engine with MGU-K and battery up and running, and it is still running weeks later. There we are miles ahead of Audi, we are miles ahead of Ferrari, and Mercedes is about the same.”

“We have Ford as a partner in the sector. We have absolute top people in the combustion engine. And we have two very bright minds on the electrical side.”

Red Bull Ford Powertrains building
Red Bull Ford Powertrains building

Marko again raised concerns about the new 50/50 combustion-electric output ratio and the added weight from the larger battery.

“With seven or ten percent less electrical system power, this unnecessary extra weight would be compensated. We have e-fuels, which negates the need for hybrid engines altogether. We could, as a minimum, reshift the combustion engine to 60:40”

F1 needs smaller and lighter cars, says Marko.

“The cars have to get lighter and smaller again.”

“If you need 30 liters of fuel just to charge the battery, then something is wrong in terms of approach.”

“A battery always entails certain risks. We already have cars that are close to sports car level in terms of weight and size. But the racetracks remain the same.”

“We would have to make all the tracks a meter wider to keep up with the development of the cars.”

Marko views the heavy battery in 2026 as a safety concern:

“The weight is a safety risk. The Silverstone accident that Max had in 2021 could have turned out very differently with such a heavy battery as we will have in 2026.”

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