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Christian Horner

Horner: Red Bull engine project means we control our own destiny

Red Bull boss Christian Horner believes the switch from being a Honda customer to being an independent engine manufacturer means they are now on a level playing field with Ferrari and Mercedes.

Horner Portimao
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To news overview © Getty Images/Red Bull Contentpool

Christian Horner has said the move for Red Bull to become its own engine manufacturer means the team is now no different in ethos to the likes of Ferrari and Mercedes.

With the upcoming engine freeze in place until 2025, Red Bull set up their own 'Red Bull Powertrains' division which is currently being built on their Milton Keynes campus. Purchasing Honda's F1 intellectual property, the new engine department will see Red Bull learn and build their own engines in a move that emulates what Ferrari, Mercedes and Alpine/Renault do.

"Some people say we're crazy," Horner said in an interview with Germany's Auto Motor und Sport.

"But the project makes sense to us for many reasons. We are allowed to use Honda's technical knowledge. The development stop for the engines was extremely important for us in order to establish ourselves in a phase of stability in the business and to build up an infrastructure to build our own engines.

"When the cost cap is $ 80 million, it makes no sense to build engines that cost $ 2 million each. If you can then supply two teams with engines for a reasonable amount of money, then the question arises as to whether it is better not to build the engines yourself within this framework. Red Bull can become the first private engine manufacturer since Cosworth."

With Red Bull having always relied on customer deals with Honda and, in a very successful past, Renault, Horner said there was no particular desire to continue down the path of finding a new customer deal after Honda's decision to withdraw from F1 at the end of 2021. While Honda customers, the closeness of the relationship between Honda and Red Bull was more akin to a full factory effort.

"This is how we control our own destiny," he explained.

"And we are on par with Ferrari and Mercedes, who already have everything under one roof. These synergies bring advantages. Until now we have only been customers. With Honda, we experienced what it means to be a works team for the first time.

"It's like when you are no longer flying economy but business class. Once you get used to it, you don't want to go back to economy. To avoid that, you'd better buy your own plane."

F1 2021 French Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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