Red Bull Racing Powered by Ferrari F1 Engines Was a Possibility, Reveals Christian Horner

Published 07/01/2021, 8:46 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – March 26, 2021 Mercedes’ Team Principal Toto Wolff with Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner during the press conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS

Red Bull will be in the charge of their own power unit once their current engineer supplier, Honda, leaves the grid at the end of 2021. However, things could have gone differently for the outfit, as team principal Christian Horner revealed on a recent podcast.


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Red Bull were considering making a deal with Ferrari or Mercedes

In an episode of the podcast, Beyond the Grid, Horner said, “The most natural thing was to have a discussion, you know, with the existing suppliers. Mercedes was a very short conversation and, you know Toto was obviously particularly was very keen on that one.


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When asked if they would joining Renault, a team they worked with till 2019, Horner, replied, “In fact, Renault’s aspirations did not go through being the supplier of a team like Red Bull.”

Another team was Ferrari, who supplied engines to their sister team Toro Rosso in the past. He said, “Probably the most willing was Ferrari. We handsome exploratory discussions, but to be a customer, so to have to accept all the integrations, particularly with the new regulations coming, would be a massively hard pill to swallow.”

The Milton-Keynes came to a conclusion and decided to take over Honda’s power unit and make their own Red Bull Powertrains going forward.

Speaking of the change, the team boss replied, “So that is where we started to explore the possibility of, ‘okay, how do we take on this challenge in a Red Bull manner and see if we can put a deal together with Honda and for the foreseeable future?’ The freeze was fundamental to that because we won’t have the capacity to develop an engine.”

“To take that step and it’s a big step, and it’s a bold step to take control of our own destiny as an engine supplier and bring the whole lot under one roof in Milton Keynes. It would make us the only team other than Ferrari have the whole lot within one facility,” he concluded.

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How are the team doing this season with Honda?

In their last year with the Japanese engine manufacturer, the team have performed their best in quite a long time. The Milton-Keynes-based outfit have won five out of the eight races so far and currently lead the constructors’ championship with 252 points.


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Formula One F1 – Steiermark Grand Prix – Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, Styria, Austria – June 26, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen after qualifying in pole position Pool via REUTERS/Darko Vojinovic

Now the team prepares for the ninth round of the championship, which takes place at the Red Bull Ring. Having won the race at the same venue the previous weekend, courtesy of Max Verstappen, the team are looking to grab another win for his team at their home race.

Can the Raging Bulls deliver another dominating performance at Austria, and further extend their lead in the championship against rivals, Mercedes?


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Arpit Gomes

660 articles

Arpit Gomes is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Currently pursuing his Journalism degree from Xavier’s Institute, he is a big fan of McLaren and their driver Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo. Arpit always looks forward to the paddock moving to Spa and drivers dealing with the exciting Eau Rouge corner as well the straight at Monza.



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