Just a few weeks ago the Porsche and Red Bull Racing merger was considered a done deal, with the German auto manufacturer picking up a 50% ownership of the current Constructors Championship leading team. The partnership would have been a dream for both Red Bull and Porsche, as Porsche would be jumping into Formula One with one of the top teams in the world, and Red Bull would be gaining the motorsport prestige of a storied racing sports car company. The tie-up was a win-win for all parties involved, and it seemed like the announcement was merely a formality, and that it was only a matter of time before we started to see the Stuttgart crest on Max Verstappen’s overalls. Now, however, it would seem that the deal has been nuked from space.
The first stumbles began to show themselves on Friday when team boss Christian Horner mentioned to the press that the Porsche-Red Bull deal would only be done on Red Bull’s terms.
“We’ve got some phenomenal talent that has joined the company. So we are in good shape and time will tell whether we embrace a partner into that program or, as the plan is at present, continue on our own. Red Bull have always been an independent team, it’s been one of our strengths. It’s been the backbone of what we’ve achieved and our ability to move quickly and it’s part of the DNA of who we are. We are not a corporately-operated organization and that’s one of our strengths and how we operate as a race team and that’s an absolute pre-requisite for the future. They (Porsche or any other partner company) need to decide whether they want to join that party or not. But they would have to be within the culture of the way we go racing.”
According to German language site F1 Insider, the deal is now completely out of the question. Apparently Porsche had wanted to develop and engineer its own engine for the 2026 regulations, showing off its continued talents as an engineering mastermind. Red Bull wasn’t okay with that, citing that it had recently made the investment to buy out Honda’s powertrain supply operations and move them inside the Red Bull organization at great cost. Allegedly the fizzy drinks company is already working to develop its own 2026 engine, and doesn’t want anyone else working on it. It makes sense that Red Bull would want its engine manufacturing in-house, to make the chassis design even more cohesive than it already is. Red Bull wanted to retain more power than Porsche would have in the new team, while Porsche wasn’t okay with that. It also seems that since the talks began about a year ago, the Red Bull team’s value has inflated beyond what Porsche is willing to pay. Not only was it important that Red Bull secured the Drivers’ Championship (through pure luck, I contend), but the team has clearly built the dominant chassis of the 2022 season, proving it has a real grip on the new regulations.
I hope that this is all just speculation, and Porsche will join Red Bull for the 2026 season. Maybe it’s all just grandstanding from Red Bull to try to drive up the price a bit in the negotiations. Either way, it’ll be interesting to continue to follow this as things develop.