Christian Horner is hoping that Red Bull's Powertrains project will be so successful that it makes Mercedes regret not supplying the team with an engine.
Following Honda's decision to leave Formula 1 at the end of 2021, the Milton Keynes-based outfit will take over from 2022 onwards and will eventually produce their own power units. Whilst the move was made out of necessity, Horner believes that it will be fruitful.
"We need a competitive engine, and this is the best route," Horner told Autocar. "Mercedes wouldn’t supply one and Renault didn’t want to supply one, so it didn’t leave us with a lot of choice.
"We’ve got to get on with it and make Toto [Wolff] rue that decision. Maybe one day he will need an engine from us!"
It has been well documented that several members of Mercedes' staff have decided to join Red Bull Powertrains, including Ben Hodgkinson, who will become technical director of the project.
"It’s a leap of faith, but it’s an exciting one," Horner said. "I think people have seen how and what Red Bull has done in motorsport and the commitment it has.
"It’s based in the UK, it’s 30 miles from Brixworth, they don’t need to move house or move their children from school and it’s a chance to be involved in something from scratch."
F1 teams are now working under a budget cap, which will steadily be reduced over coming seasons. Engine spend is not currently capped, and Horner is pleased that there seems to be progress towards this being a separate restriction.
"Obviously we’re going to have an expensive couple of years as we gear up, but then there are powertrain budget caps being discussed that are extremely realistic to be introduced in the next couple of years.
"We’re talking about around the £43m mark on research and development, which, suddenly from where budgets have been, makes it entirely feasible."