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Horner vows to protect Red Bull's "DNA" as Porsche F1 deal stumbles

The widely expected tie-up between Red Bull and Porsche from 2026 has gone cold with Honda tipped to stay on

Christian Horner says Red Bull need to think long-term about any potential deal with Porsche, and not put the Formula 1 team "at risk." Porsche have widely been expected to enter F1 as a partner to Red Bull when the new 2026 power unit regulations come on line, with sister Volkswagen Group brand Audi set to take the plunge. A buy in of Red Bull Technologies was expected for Porsche, but the deal has gone cold over recent weeks with Honda keen to stay involved with the team, as RacingNews365.com's Editorial Director Dieter Rencken explains below.

" It seems the breakdown was caused by Porsche’s last-minute insistence to amend voting structures, which Red Bull, a free-spirited team determined to control its F1 autonomy, will not countenance," wrote Rencken in his latest Dieter's Diary. "Much has evolved since talks commenced last year July - not least Porsche’s subsequently announced stock exchange listing (which caused second thoughts?), recent changes at VW Group main board level including a change of CEO, Audi’s now confirmed F1 entry and, one hears with utmost regret, the declining health of Red Bull’s 78-year-old founder Diedrich Mateschitz – so overall the breakdown in relations is no surprise. "What happens next? Red Bull is awaiting a counter proposal from Porsche - without, though, holding its breath – all while going ahead with its own power unit project. "Negotiations are continuing with Honda, but these centre around hybrid technology, an area which will be a major F1 performance area going forward given the 50% hybrid contribution. Honda is particularly strong in this area, so my bet is on this outcome."

Horner wants to protect Red Bull

"Red Bull has always been a maverick brand, and we are an independent team and that has always been the way we work," Horner told media including RacingNews365.com at Zandvoort for the Dutch Grand Prix. "That makes us flexible and allows us to act quickly and efficiently. That is part of the Red Bull DNA. "The engine project is, of course, a whole new and different challenge. If there was someone we could partner with to work on that, it would make sense. "At the same time, the Formula 1 team is the biggest marketing asset for Red Bull in the world , so why put that at risk in the long run?" Red Bull are currently producing its own power units through the Red Bull Powertrains company with some help from Honda, and have been on a heavy recruitment drive recently to build up the knowledge in an area it has typically not involved itself in during its time in F1. "We are fully committed to 2026, and have recruited some of the best talent in Formula 1. "We've created a factory within 55 weeks with fully commissioned dynos. "We've built our first prototype engine for 2026 and run that prior the summer break. "We're on a really exciting trajectory, that isn't dependent on outside involvement or investment. If there is strategically the right partner, it would be something the group is interested in."

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