Plans for a Formula 1 link-up between Red Bull and Porsche are now officially over following a statement from the German manufacturer.
Since it began to emerge in the summer of 2021 that Audi and Porsche would enter F1 in 2026 when the next generation of power units will be introduced, links between Red Bull and Porsche had grown stronger – until the last week.
There had even been reports that Porsche could buy a 50% stake in the Red Bull F1 team, on the basis they would be supplying the Milton Keynes-based constructor with engines.
But in the immediate aftermath of the Dutch Grand Prix, suddenly the connection began to weaken and now it appears Porsche will be looking elsewhere for a team with which to join forces if their F1 plans are formally given the green light.
“In the course of the last few months, Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG and Red Bull GmbH have held talks on the possibility of Porsche’s entry into Formula 1,” the statement reads.
“The two companies have now jointly come to the conclusion these talks will no longer be continued.
“The premise was always that a partnership would be based on an equal footing, which would include not only an engine partnership but also the team. This could not be achieved.
“With the finalised rule changes, the racing series nevertheless remains an attractive environment for Porsche, which will continue to be monitored.”
It was clearly the amount of influence Porsche wanted over the team’s operations that was a major sticking point – with rumours even having circulated that Christian Horner’s position as team principal would have been under threat.
“There are always wild rumours in this paddock,” Horner was quoted as saying.
“I recently made a commitment to this team in the long term and indeed any discussions we’ve had have been contingent upon the management structure being the same, which has always been fully accepted.
“So I don’t really need to comment on speculation.”
Although Honda have not severed all ties with Red Bull since their official withdrawal from F1 at the end of last year, it remains unknown as to whether they would be tempted to return for 2026.
In the meantime, Red Bull Powertrains will continue with their engine project which was set up after Honda announced they were pulling out, with Horner saying: “For 2026, we are fully committed.
“We’ve recruited some of the best talent in Formula 1 within Red Bull Powertrains, we’ve created a factory within 55 weeks with fully commissioned dynos, we’ve built our first prototype engine for 2026 and run before the summer break.
“We are on a really exciting trajectory that isn’t dependent on outside involvement or investment if there is strategically the right partner.”
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