“We Have 36 and a Half Months”: Red Bull Begin Countdown to Overthrow Long List of Rivals Including Audi & Mercedes

Published 12/11/2022, 5:45 AM EST

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via Reuters

Even before teams have settled with the regulation change of 2022, Red Bull is planning for the future. Looking at the 2026 engine regulation change, the Milton Keynes outfit is keen on sustaining its current dominant position. And for this, team boss Christian Horner has already set the target.

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Red Bull might have aced the latest ground effect aero regulations, but on the power unit side, they are on uncertain ground. With Honda leaving at the end of 2021, the Milton Keynes outfit has to establish its own powertrain division. Honda continues to supply the team with engines and technical support until 2025.

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But Red Bull will have to design their own engine for 2026 under the Red Bull Powertrains (RBPT) division. As of now, they don’t have any engine manufacturer on board to help them. Thus, Christian Horner has stated they will build the entire car, including the engine and the chassis, in-house at the Milton Keynes base.

via Reuters

As per BBC, Horner said, “We’ve got 36-and-a-half months to produce an all-new engine and take on Ferrari, Mercedes, Renault, and Audi that’ll be coming into the sport.”

“So it’s a huge challenge for us, but I think with the right people, with the right tools, with the right culture and approach, we can hopefully produce similar to what we have with the chassis.”

Christian might be bullish about the team’s potential, considering their aerodynamic proficiency. Though they might pull it off as they may have some good insights from Honda and with about 3 years available.

“Honda Engine Ran Like Clockwork”: Recent Red Bull F1 Run a Bad Omen for Ferrari in Crucial Aspect

RBR called off a potential partnership with Porsche earlier in September. Thus, they will look to be the 2nd team after Ferrari to build their engines and chassis at one site.

The challenges for Red Bull for the 2026 engine regulations

Red Bull’s RB18 was a complete package in 2022 and dominated the grid with 17 wins. But as they look to the future, it may not be ideal for them to manufacture their own engines. Even if they produce a decent engine, will it pass their expectations of being reliable and fast enough to sustain their dominance?

via Reuters

Red Bull has always been a customer team in F1, taking engines from different manufacturers like Cosworth, Ferrari, Renault, and the last one being Honda. Now under the RBPT brand, they have to compete with these manufacturers.

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All of their rival manufacturers, including Mercedes, Ferrari, and Renault, have prior engine development experience. Besides them, Audi may be new to F1, but they have good technical expertise in Germany. Also, they got the same time frame as Red Bull to execute the 2026 regulations well.

So can the Milton Keynes team sustain this challenge of F1 engine development? They will need to understand the regulations well to implement the different changes to the hybrid system. The new regulations will triple the electrical power usage up to 350 kW. Besides, the new V6 turbo-hybrid power unit will run on fully sustainable fuels.

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Another challenge for Red Bull is to integrate their new engine with the chassis concept properly for top performance. Though the team has Adrian Newey’s aerodynamic genius, it won’t be an easy task to package the 2026 car.

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Watch This Story: Christian Horner speaks up on possible Audi, Porsche 2026 F1 Partnership

Time will tell if Christian Horner and Co. can manage to tackle these challenges. What do you think? Is Red Bull’s choice right to build indigenous engines? Or Should they partner up with an engine manufacturer?

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Written by:

Aishwary Gaonkar

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Aishwary Gaonkar is an F1 Author at EssentiallySports. Having completed his postgrad, he has set out to venture into the world of Sports Journalism. He is an ardent fan of F1 and has been following the most prestigious form of motor racing for over a decade now.
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Edited by:

Varunkumaar Chelladurai

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