Why does RBR-Porsche seem to fall after taking it for granted?

Why does RBR-Porsche seem to fall after taking it for granted?

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This Sunday, which the Dutch GP of formula 1motor sports consultant for red cowHelmut Marko, said the following to F1-Insider.com about the many agreements negotiated between the Austrian brand and Porsche: “Porsche will not be our shareholder”.

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With that in mind, several press vehicles tried to confirm what was said by the Austrian leader. For Motorsport-Total.comGerman partner of motorsport.comseveral sources said that the agreement, whose conclusion appeared to be well underway, would not be implemented.

In the case of Porsche, there is great disappointment and the imminent collapse of the business. And many are wondering: what would have happened if the FIA ​​(Federation Internationale de Automobilismo) had approved the 2026 engine regulations early as planned?

The announcement was ready

In any case, the truth is that Red Bull and Porsche had agreed to present the partnership to the public at RBR’s home race, the Austrian GP. It would be a “partnership of equals” and the press release was already in the drawer.

Even before the management of the Volkswagen Group, the owner of Porsche and Audi, gave the green light to the entry of sports products in F1, Red Bull and Porsche already had something on the way. And everything would start from the acquisition of 50% of the shares of Red Bull Racing and Porsche..

But what happened after the Austrian GP for the plan to be close to ‘melting’? At the moment, this is only a topic of speculation in the industry. One theory is that RBR boss Christian Horner would not want to run an F1 team with the Porsche director, but Marko denies this.

Dietrich Mateschitz, CEO of Red Bull

Photo by: Jerry Andre / Sports Pictures

There are also rumors that the collapse of the deal may have something to do with the health of Red Bull CEO Dietrich Mateschitz, which has recently been less stable than when the talks began.

What is known is that, at the beginning, the treatment did not have any problems. But as they got deeper and deeper, with more Porsche representatives at the table, Marko and Horner’s doubts grew.

With Dutchman Max Verstappen, they have F1’s best driver under contract until the end of 2028. And they have Adrian Newey, probably the best designer in the division. In addition to the support of the Austrian boss. “Dietrich has fully supported us when strategic or experimental decisions need to be made, this is one of our natural strengths and part of our DNA,” Horner said.

Then there’s Honda, which produces what might be the best powertrain today — albeit one named after Red Bull Powertrains. After the decision to leave F1, the Japanese car manufacturer is rethinking the idea and wants to continue. So why take a chance with Porsche?

A sign, a strong sign…

Christian Horner and Helmut Marko

Christian Horner and Helmut Marko

Photo by: Simon Galloway / Sports Pictures

Anyone who paid attention to Horner’s speech at Zandvoort could have read in his interview that RBR had long ago decided against Porsche. “We are an independent team. We have always worked in a way that has given us flexibility, speed and efficiency. This is part of Red Bull’s DNA”, said the British manager in the Dutch GP, won by Verstappen.

And the more the talks with Porsche went on, the more Horner and Marko realized: if we want to start a new project, it will no longer be done with the active participation of Mateschitz. With that in mind, a lot of preparation would be required, not counting the approval of the company’s directive committees. This whole process takes time, and the result is uncertainty.

Neither Horner, who has never worked for a bigger organization than Red Bull, nor Marko are in a position to do so. The team boss insists: “We understand that the team is Red Bull’s main marketing tool worldwide. So why should we risk the strategic independence of this in the long term?” Horner’s position is more certain, but Marko is still not ruling out anything with Porsche.

If the German brand is interested in working in partnership with Red Bull Powertrains, he and Horner will be open to new proposals. However, Red Bull Racing will not be sold, says Helmut. And the Austrian knows that Porsche doesn’t like his idea.

A challenge for Red Bull and a frustration for Porsche

Porsche logo

Porsche logo

Photo by: JEP / Sports Pictures

Building a power unit is a completely different thing than building a chassis. But Red Bull no longer thinks it’s out of the question to handle the entire engine design itself. And the fact that Red Bull Powertrains’ first engine underwent fresh testing at the Milton Keynes-based factory ahead of F1’s 2022 European summer break has boosted the team’s confidence.

Although the unit does not have a battery, Horner points out that Red Bull Powertrains can design and build a complete internal kit: “The experts we have handle every technical part, including electrical and mechanical.”

“We’re looking forward to 2026. We’ve hired some of the best minds in F1 at Red Bull Powertrains, built a factory in 55 weeks, commissioned full testing, built our first prototype engine for 2026 and ran it for the first time before the summer break. heat. We are in a very exciting situation right now, without relying on foreign investment to do this,” he explained.

In any case, Horner admitted: “The power unit is a very big challenge, so if there is a partner to work on it, logically that would make sense.” Apparently, however, the partnership will not involve Porsche.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB18

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB18

Photo by: Alastair Staley / Sports Pictures

For the German brand, entering F1 is only an option as a shareholder, not as a simple engine supplier. This vision is also what the Management Board of Volkswagen decides.

For Porsche, it’s a painful setback. The car manufacturer is currently preparing its IPO (initial offering of company shares on the stock market) and participation in F1, something that involves billions of dollars, is a commitment that has not been economically sustainable for many years, not to mention the fact. that the category recently introduced a budget limit, a measure that would also suit the German brand.

At least Porsche shouldn’t blame itself for not trying. Red Bull took a step back. It is nothing new for F1 teams to negotiate with manufacturers and then have those negotiations fail. However, it is not unusual for an agreement to go so far without success. Which leaves Porsche confused.

RBR, on the other hand, is optimistic about the future. Verstappen will soon take second and the team can go about their business without interference from the Germans, plus Honda have engine security at least until the end of 2025. Who knows beyond that…

Honda logo

Honda logo

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Sports Pictures

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