Marko Hints at Red Bull Developing its Own F1 Engines under One Condition

Published 12/29/2020, 1:21 AM EST
SPIELBERG, AUSTRIA – Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner, Red Bull Racing Team Consultant Dr Helmut Marko and Renault Sport F1 Managing Director Cyril Abiteboul talk on the grid before the Formula One Grand Prix of Austria at Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Formula 1 could soon witness Red Bull manufacturing their own power unit, with Honda bowing out by the end of 2021. The only obstruction for Red Bull is the lack of funds, as the current Power Units’ prices are sky-high.


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However, the team are looking at the positives of bringing in their own engines. Apparently, the FIA’s massive efforts on cost-cutting have hinted at much cheaper and simpler engines, come 2026.

Hence, if their predictions are to be true, Red Bull will make their way into F1 as engine suppliers, after playing the role of customers for over a decade.


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Marko’s views on Red Bull’s future

Speaking to AutoSport, Red Bull advisor Dr. Helmut Marko opened up on the team’s future in terms of building their own engines.

If the hints become true that the new engine is much simpler in design; that the MGU-H is eliminated, and that it remains innovative, but the annual cost limit is somewhere around 50 million, then it’s no longer such a complex issue as the current engine,” he said.

Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates -Red Bull’s Max Verstappen passes the chequered flag to win the race Pool via REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

That means you could then do the development for such an engine with the paraphernalia we will have in Milton Keynes.”

If everything goes well for the Austrian team, they could then aim for the championship title. With the current Honda engines, they might have had to tweak their chassis a bit, which could pull them down in terms of performance.

However, with their own engine, Red Bull can turn into a much bigger threat to the defending champions, Mercedes.

Red Bull focusing entirely on the “Honda project,” Marko reveals

Marko revealed that things are panning out quite well for Red Bull despite the FIA yet to make their decision on freezing engine development from 2022.

I would say it’s around 80, 85 percent [complete],” he said.

If their plans fall apart, they might get pushed to the decision of teaming up with past engine suppliers, Renault. However, Marko clarified that the team are not carrying a Plan B and are full-fledged into building their own engine with Honda’s assist.


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Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in action during the race Pool via REUTERS/Giuseppe Cacace

Our focus is fully on the Honda project,” he said. “Our plans are to carry out engine maintenance on our existing Red Bull campus and adapt a hall for that.”

Although it sounds quite simple, this is definitely a massive headache for the Honda-powered team and their future in F1. The four-time constructor’s champions are looking rather cautious with each step.


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Hence, though Red Bull have quite a lot of bullets to dodge, if all goes well, they can reignite their dominance in the sport.


Rohit Kumar

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Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.