After months of claiming that the only thing missing from the Red Bull/Porsche partnership deal were signatures, and expected to be signed after the official publication of the rules for new powertrains, it now looks like the deal has fallen through. Audi announced over the weekend in Belgium that it is entering the sport. As a powertrain manufacturer for now, but expected to buy at least 75%, if not the entire Sauber team. After the Spa-Francorchamps race, however, it became clear that the supposedly certain partnership between Red Bull and Porsche might not happen at all. At Zandvoort, Ralf Schumacher said the deal “fell through.” Helmut Marko directly stated that the car manufacturer will not buy a share of the team.
“Porsche will not become a shareholder with us,” Marco told Sport1. “We can make propulsion systems ourselves
Helmut Marko’s words should be taken with caution at least until official confirmation from either side. The Austrian stated at the beginning of the year, for example, that Honda will make the drive systems for Red Bull and Alfa Tauri until the end of 2025. It took Red Bull months to reach such an agreement with the Japanese manufacturer. It was only confirmed at the beginning of August. Then Marco repeatedly thanked Honda for agreeing.
If the deal falls through, Porsche has other options. According to Ralf Schumacher, the Stuttgart automaker can work with McLaren. Current Woking team boss Andreas Seidl led the Porsche team in the World Endurance Championship from 2014 until September 2018. He was then recruited to McLaren. According to other German sources, Porsche wants to participate in Formula 1, regardless of whether it is with Red Bull or with another team.
After the weekend in the Netherlands, Marco insisted to Austrian media that nothing major had happened.
“There was never a deal or a legally binding agreement, meaning there was nothing to fail. We are the most attractive “bride”, but we are not necessarily looking to get married. We couldn’t agree. We will not sell any Porsche shares. We are not the Porsche Super Cup after all,” Marco added
Christian Horner’s statement is interpreted as a sign that Red Bull no longer wants to work with Honda after the end of the current contract.
“Through our agreement with HRC, Honda has left a loophole. But as far as we are concerned, the train has already left. Our investment is in Red Bull Powertrains. Nearly 300 people are already working on the 2026 unit,” Horner said.
Marco backed him up and said all rumors linking Honda to Red Bull are speculation.
“At the moment we are concentrating on the championship and defending our title with Max [Верстапен]”, added the 79-year-old Austrian.
— Oracle Red Bull Racing (@redbullracing) September 5, 2022