F1 | Italian GP | Red Bull not willing to sacrifice independence for Porsche partnership, says Horner
Team Principal Christian Horner explains what made Porsche’s deal strategically unfit for the team.
This morning Porsche announced in a statement that discussions with Red Bull to enter Formula 1 have come to an end. An announcement that comes after months of talks, but that certainly didn’t take the team by surprise.
“Porsche is a great company and we wish them the best of luck for their future, whatever that holds. But Red Bull’s direction is clear, we have embarked on this journey after Honda’s withdrawal from Formula 1,” explained Christian Horner in a session with media including MotorLat this Friday afternoon in Monza.
“Part of that was the homologated engine to enable us to complete this period. We’ve created the facility in Milton Keynes and recruited some of the top talents in the sport, we now have an excess of 3 hundred people employed in a state-of-the-art facility, we’ve run the first prototypes of the V6 engine for 2026 in the summer break.”
“As soon as we made the decision there was a full commitment and it was no small undertaking.”
“Some people think we are completely mad to take on the likes of Ferrari and Mercedes and Renault, starting from scratch. But it’s exactly the Red Bull way to achieve the impossible.”
A project, he made clear, that “at no point was dependent on the involvement of an investor.”
“Our strategy to have engine and chassis all under one roof, in one campus with engineers and designers, remains absolutely unchanged.”
“There has been no contribution to where we are today: there were only discussions, there was nothing ever signed or agreed.”
Porsche wanted an influential role on the management of the team, with a fair share of stakes – fifty percent allegedly. Something that clashes with the level of independence Red Bull is so determinate to maintain.
“One of the strengths the team has been its independence and staying true to virtues and values of Red Bull. Independence is one of the core attributes that have enabled Red Bull to be as successful as we have in the sport to date,” said Horner.
“We didn’t want to diminish those or delude those in any way, they are fundamental principles for how we will also attack the challenge of the PU.”
“Porsche is a great company and it was only natural to discuss and explore possibilities with them, but in the end it was not the right deal for us strategically to benefit us on the journey we are on.”
Another thing Red Bull is not willing to compromise on is their “quick decision-making,” that is enabling them to take “effective decisions and react very quickly as a racing team.”
“Something that is rather difficult to achieve when you are relying on a manufacturer.”
“You’ve seen on so many occasions how manufacturers have been less autonomous in their decision-making. I think that was a key aspect of protecting what we have and how we operate.”
And if new partnership proposal were to come in?
“It’d stupid not to listen [to other potential proposals], but it would have to fit strategically and complement what we are doing to ensure it follows the same roadmap that Red Bull is on,” concluded the Team Principal.