Helmut Marko is remaining coy regarding speculation that Red Bull could consider hiring Mercedes' former engine chief Andy Cowell for their Powertrains project.
The Milton Keynes-based outfit will take over the intellectual property of current supplier Honda from 2022 onwards, and this could lead to the team being able to develop their own engines when new regulations come into play in 2025. Since the project was announced, Cowell - who confirmed his departure from Mercedes in 2020 - has been linked to becoming involved, but Marko is not giving much away.
"We always talk," Marko told Motorsport-Magazin.com. "It would be a nice option, but he is not currently an option."
It was previously stated that Cowell would remain with Mercedes in a consulting capacity until early 2021 at least, but his destination from there onwards remains unclear.
Regardless of whether Cowell joins Red Bull Powertrains or not, Marko is clear on the team's plans for the operation going forwards. The engine freeze recently introduced means that Honda will continue to develop the engine until 2022, and then Red Bull will take over from 2023, giving them time to develop their plans.
"We assume that we have all the documents and all the supplier data," Marko said. "So we are not building a completely new engine, but using the existing one, and that is more a sampling than a new one."
The hope is then for Red Bull to be able to build a new engine from 2025. "Provided the engine regulations are such that a private company like us can afford it. All the signs indicate that the cost limit is coming, the engine will be much simpler."
Another possibility for the future is that a manufacturer could join Red Bull as a partner for the project, with the Volkswagen Group having been speculated as a candidate via Porsche and Audi. Marko is also coy on this idea, but the signs are that Red Bull would be open to this kind of cooperation.