Red Bull to Be Deprived of Honda IP in the Wake of New 2026 Engine Formula

Published 10/17/2021, 9:02 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Turkish Grand Prix – Intercity Istanbul Park, Istanbul, Turkey – October 8, 2021 Red Bull’s Sergio Perez in action during practice REUTERS/Murad Sezer


Red Bull and Honda have had a very successful collaboration; the engine manufacturer has given the team a car that’s battling Mercedes for the championship. However, now Honda exits F1 once again, leaving Red Bull to their own devices. Although Honda hasn’t left the team high and dry, the engineers at Milton Keynes will have to work on their own engine from 2026 onwards.

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Honda may be leaving the team this season but will continue to help the team remain competitive. Red Bull will continue using the Japanese power unit till the new engine formula makes its way to F1; which is likely to happen in 2026. However, with the radical changes of the 2022 season, Honda will provide Red Bull with operational support.

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With new engine regulations for 2026 in the work, it’s likely that the Red Bull- Honda partnership will be completely nullified then. What happens after 2026? that’s for Red Bull to figure out. They can either develop their chassis or find another engine manufacturer to help them.

Basically, Red Bull will be stripped of Honda’s intellectual property after they stop using the engine. Masashi Yamamoto explained the team’s use of Honda construction drawings. “[Red Bull has] To assemble, maintain and buy parts for the engines themselves, they need that information.”

Red Bull has already started engine conversations

As a result of Honda pulling away from the team, Red Bull has started finding the means to develop its engine. The team has begun setting up its engine department. Further, there has been talk of collaboration with Volkswagen post the 2026 engine regulations.

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The new regulations look to drop the MGU-H which is a part of the current V6 turbo-hybrid engines used by the teams. As a result, a new engine formula will be introduced in 2026.

Although Horner wishes the team develops their engine, they haven’t shut the doors on Volkswagen. The VW-Milton Keynes collaboration had been a part of many conversations, which opened the doors for marques like Audi and Porsche to show their interests in the sport.

Formula One F1 – Turkish Grand Prix – Intercity Istanbul Park, Istanbul, Turkey – October 10, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in action during the race REUTERS/Umit Bektas

Nonetheless, as the Raging Bulls wave ‘arigato’ to Honda, the next generation of engines will bring both uncertainty and excitement for the team. To be an energy drink company producing their own engines would be a massive accomplishment for the team. Till then, the Honda engine will continue to leave its mark on the tracks.

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Shreya Sanjeev

629 articles

Shreya Sanjeev is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having attained a journalism degree from St Xavier's College, she finds comfort in the sound of her keyboard while typing and excitement in the sound of F1 cars speeding on a track. A street circuit and Daniel Ricciardo fan through and through, Shreya claims the 2018 Monaco GP to be one of her favorite races of all time.

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