Ferrari was "most willing" to discuss Red Bull F1 engine deal from 2022

Christian Horner has revealed that Red Bull held "exploratory discussions" with Ferrari over a Formula 1 engine deal from 2022 before deciding to form its own powertrain division.

Ferrari was "most willing" to discuss Red Bull F1 engine deal from 2022

Red Bull's existing power unit partner, Honda, announced last October it would be quitting F1 at the end of the 2021 season, leaving the four-time champion team in need of a new supplier.

After securing a freeze on power unit development under the regulations from 2022, Red Bull opted to purchase the IP for Honda's engines and create a new arm called Red Bull Powertrains.

The move from Red Bull came amid limited options for alternative suppliers, with only Mercedes, Renault and Ferrari being alternatives.

Speaking on F1's Beyond the Grid podcast, Red Bull team principal Horner revealed that Ferrari was the only one to really show any willingness for talks, but the reluctance to be a customer team proved to be a deal-breaker.

"The most natural thing was to have a discussion with the existing suppliers," Horner said.

"Mercedes was a very short conversation, Toto [Wolff] obviously wasn't particularly keen on that one. In fact Renault, their aspirations of a team didn't include supplying a team like Red Bull.

"The most willing was Ferrari. We had some exploratory discussions. But to be a customer, so to have to accept all of the integration, particularly with the new regulations that are coming, would be a massively hard pill to swallow.

"That's when we started to explore the possibility, 'OK, how do we take on this challenge in a Red Bull manner?' and see if we can put a deal together with Honda for the foreseeable future.

"The freeze was fundamental to that, otherwise we wouldn't have had the capacity to develop an engine.

"To take that step, and it's a big step and 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 to have the whole lot within one facility."

Christian Horner, Team Principal, Red Bull Racing

Christian Horner, Team Principal, Red Bull Racing

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Honda's final season in F1 is proving to be a successful one. Red Bull has scored five wins already this year and leads the constructors' championship, while Max Verstappen sits 18 points clear at the top of the drivers' standings.

Read Also:

Horner said that Honda was "loving" the current success, but acknowledged it was a "great, great shame" to see the Japanese manufacturer leave at the end of the year.

"We'd have loved them to stay longer," Horner said.

"We're just about to go under a freeze for the next three years, so costs are more controlled. They've worked very hard to get themselves into a competitive position.

"But certainly next year, we're looking to maintain some form of relationship. Obviously I'm not going to go into the details of the discussions, but we're hoping to have as soft of a landing as we can.

"It's an enormous challenge to start form scratch as an engine builder."

shares
comments

Related video

Aston Martin secures another senior Red Bull F1 technical signing

Previous article

Aston Martin secures another senior Red Bull F1 technical signing

Next article

Will softer tyres shake up the F1 order in Austria this weekend?

Will softer tyres shake up the F1 order in Austria this weekend?
Load comments
How Lotus F1 uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’ Plus

How Lotus F1 uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’

Cast in the mould of its founder Colin Chapman, Lotus was powerful and daring but 
flawed – as it proved through further soaring peaks and painful troughs into the 1980s. DAMIEN SMITH examines a game-changing era

The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address Plus

The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address

OPINION: Changes to the layout of Abu Dhabi’s circuit aim to reverse the trend of insipid Formula 1 races there - the promoter has even described one of the new corners as “iconic”. And that, argues STUART CODLING, is one of this venue’s abiding failings

Formula 1
Jul 26, 2021
How Ferrari offered Britain's next F1 prospect what Red Bull couldn't Plus

How Ferrari offered Britain's next F1 prospect what Red Bull couldn't

Last year's Formula 2 runner-up Callum Ilott could be on his way to becoming the first Briton to contest a grand prix in an Alfa Romeo since Reg Parnell in 1950. But, says OLEG KARPOV, the Ferrari Driver Academy protege is having to temper his ambition at the moment – outwardly at least…

Formula 1
Jul 25, 2021
The signs that point to F1's rude health Plus

The signs that point to F1's rude health

OPINION: Formula 1's calendar might still be facing disruption as the pandemic affects travel but, says MARK GALLAGHER, the business itself is fundamentally strong thanks to the epic rivalry taking place on track and the consistent arrival of new sponsors

Formula 1
Jul 24, 2021
The unexpected benefit of F1’s sprint race repeat Plus

The unexpected benefit of F1’s sprint race repeat

OPINION: Formula 1's sprint race trial at Silverstone drew mixed feedback on Saturday, but there remained the true test of how it would impact Sunday's Grand Prix. While fans were busy marvelling at Fernando Alonso's progress, a key lesson was being learned that would directly contribute to the dramatic lap one clash at Copse the following day

Formula 1
Jul 22, 2021
The off-track considerations that led to F1’s Hamilton/Verstappen Silverstone shunt Plus

The off-track considerations that led to F1’s Hamilton/Verstappen Silverstone shunt

OPINION: Formula 1’s 2021 title fight turned ugly last weekend when Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton collided at the start of the British Grand Prix. Verstappen thankfully walked away unharmed, but this had been a clash long-since coming

Formula 1
Jul 21, 2021
Will 2022's all-new cars look like F1's concept model? Plus

Will 2022's all-new cars look like F1's concept model?

Formula 1 provided its clearest example yet of what the 2022 cars are set to look like when it presented a full-scale concept to the world during the build-up to last weekend’s British Grand Prix. Underneath the special shiny livery was a design that hinted at the future, but teams will be digging into key areas that may reap differing results

Formula 1
Jul 20, 2021
British Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

British Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2021 British Grand Prix will live long in the memory for the dramatic clash between Formula 1's two title protagonists, which opened the door for other drivers to capitalise. One did so in spectacular fashion, while others fluffed their lines

Formula 1
Jul 19, 2021