The future partnership between Red Bull and Porsche, which has been eagerly awaited for many weeks, is still not formalized. The Austrian Grand Prix, home event of the Austrian team, on a dedicated circuit, had all of the idyllic setting for an announcement with great fanfare. However, this will not be the case.
The expected timing has shifted as the FIA World Motor Sport Council, meeting last week, failed to ratify Formula 1’s engine regulations for 2026 “an evolution of progress on 2026 engine regulations to be finalized and presented before the next World Board meeting”. However, that next deadline is set for next October.
As we know, the Board of Management of the Volkswagen Group gave Porsche and Audi the green light to enter Formula 1 from 2026 at the beginning of May, stating that development had already begun. The brand with the rings is still exploring various options, particularly on the side of Sauber and Alfa Romeo, but nothing seems perfectly defined just yet. On the other hand, the prospect of a merger between Red Bull and Porsche is no longer really in question.
To make it official, however, future regulations must also be made official, which will essentially revolve around the disappearance of the MGU-H, technological simplification and a greater emphasis on electricity and ecological fuel. Admittedly, a vote by the teams to approve the 2026 engine regulations is expected in the coming weeks, well ahead of the next World Council. Nevertheless, the F1 Commission, which is meeting in Austria this Friday, should not immediately allow a look at the white smoke.
Red Bull and Porsche share a common destiny for 2026.
Red Bull Racing director Christian Horner is not concerned and sees only normal course of action, specifying that the principles are already largely set. “It always has to be a set”he remembers. “The Technical Regulations, the Sporting Regulations and the Financial Regulations all need to be clear, not to mention what the governance will be like from 2026 onwards. I think it’s this set that needs to be adjusted. It’s mostly already there, it is really in the hands of the FIA now.”
The engine manufacturers already represented in Formula 1 could have an interest in dragging things out a bit before the framework of the future regulations and any concessions to newcomers are definitely determined. A budget cap for the engine part is expected to see the light of day while allowing new engine builders more time on the dyno to reach performance parity more quickly.
The Porsche case is special because the merger with Red Bull would allow the brand to get their hands on the Red Bull Powertrains division recently established in Milton Keynes and rely on the knowledge, even the intellectual property. which Honda will make available to the team after the official withdrawal at the end of 2021. An advantage that is then superimposed on the advantage that is granted to new engine manufacturers and makes the competition flinch. A point that was already addressed by Alpine recently.
Under these conditions and with so much talk still ongoing, it is impossible for Red Bull and Porsche to formalize their marriage. Helmut Marko no longer makes a secret of it, but admits that the timing has now changed. “It has to be specific, certain criteria have to be met”he recalled on Sky’s microphone. “And it didn’t [encore] was accepted by the World Board. It’s causing the lag and everything else like team decisions and stuff, it’s being pushed back.”. The Red Bull consultant himself speaks of the prospect “September or October” so that the horizon finally emerges.
With Luke Smith and Christian Nimmervoll
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