Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says Red Bull’s decision to become self-sufficient by building its own F1 power unit is a “very bold strategy”.
There is no looking back for Red Bull Powertrains, the entity set up by Red Bull at Milton Keynes that will develop an F1 power unit catering to the sport’s all-new 2026 engine regulations.
It was anticipated that Red Bull would partner with Porsche on its F1 engine project but while there were extensive discussions between the two parties, the talks reached a dead end.
Red Bull therefore heads into its engine future on its own, although team boss Christian Horner has indicated that the energy drink company remains open to a partnership that suits its culture and DNA, while it has also hinted that extending its current collaboration with Honda is not entirely off the table.
For Wolff, Red Bull’s independent engine plans reflect an audacious approach.
“I think it’s a very bold strategy,” said Wolff. “Being self-sufficient is clearly a scenario that Red Bull have always wanted to achieve, have their own power unit, not be dependent of any other OEM.
“And here we go. That’s the strategy they have deployed. And we shall see what happens in ’26/’27/’28.”
- Read also: Red Bull’s Wache says 2026 engine is ‘massive challenge’
Wolff regrets that Mercedes won’t have the opportunity to compete against Porsche, unless its fellow Stuttgart manufacturer teams up with a different partner.
“Clearly, this is setting a direction, and I’m not involved in the detail whether Porsche joins in badging the engine or if Honda is going to badge the engine.
“It’s a shame obviously, from me as a Mercedes person, it’s a shame that we can’t fight with Porsche. Porsche/Red Bull would have been a mega entry. A great brand.
“And that didn’t work out for reasons that are unknown to me. It would have been really great for F1 and all of us overall if they would have joined forces for the attractiveness of the sport.”
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