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Red Bull considering building its own engine

NEWS STORY
29/12/2020

While buying Honda's IP will suffice in the short term, looking ahead to the new engine formula Red Bull is contemplating building its own power unit.

Currently, all that stands in the way of Red Bull purchasing the IP to Honda's F1 programme is Renault, the French manufacturer yet to join rivals Mercedes and Ferrari in agreeing to a freeze on engine development after 2021.

With Renault almost certain to bow to pressure the way will then be clear for both Red Bull teams to continue using the Honda power units.

However, development freeze or no development freeze in 2025 or 2026 - yes, it is that much in the air - the sport is due to introduce a new engine formula that will effectively see less complicated units that will be cheaper and run on bio-fuels.

With the current units only fit for the scrapheap at that time, this could present a huge problem for Red Bull which has always been a customer team.

However, Helmut Marko admits that the move towards less complicated, cheaper units, which are being introduced to attract more manufacturers, could be the ideal time for Red Bull to take a hand in its own destiny rather than being reliant on its rivals.

"If the hints become true that the new engine is much simpler in design; that the MGU-H is eliminated, and that it remains innovative but the annual cost limit is somewhere around fifty-million, then it's no longer such a complex issue as the current engine," he told Autosport.

"That means you could then do the development for such an engine with the paraphernalia we will have in Milton Keynes."

Asked if this means the Austrian company building its own engine, he replied: "Correct. Whether on its own or in cooperation, that's a matter of negotiation, I would say."

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1. Posted by kenji, 01/01/2021 4:23

"@Mike_13 Never say never in F1. Consider this. RB own RB Technologies. RB acquire the IP from Honda and set up an engine facility building an engine sans MGU H ready for '25/'26 together with a new team headed up by Mario Illien who consulted for RB on improving the Renault engine as supplied by Renault pre new era PU's in '14. They have two teams, if you include AT, plus any others that may join or even other existing teams. There is nothing to prevent bringing in an engine sponsor as done with TAG in the Renault days. Back in '13 it was rumoured that RB already had purpose built facilities , the supposedly secret Bldg 7. or some such nomination. I'd be pretty sure that it would be feasible once the details of the new PU are put into place together with a suitable funding model. Also don't forget that Porsche have already built an engine but wouldn't sign on so long as there was no spending cap and no MGU H. It's all very very interesting."

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2. Posted by Mike_13, 29/12/2020 14:16

"I can't see this happen - ever ...

Why would RB spend gazillions in a field so removed from their core business (selling drinks) with the likely outcome of being outclassed by all the resident engine manufacturers?

And an F1 engine is such a niche product, the only way the big guys can even justified being involved is by leveraging the IP gained from their F1 programme and passing it onto their mainstream business of selling cars.

I think this is just RB talking to see if they can persuade anyone (other than Renault) to help them out with their engine dilemma in the coming years."

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3. Posted by Italian Job, 29/12/2020 12:02

"When/if the new power unit wins it will be a "Red Bull", but when it doesn't win (or it self destructs!) it will be that well known brand "Lemon""

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4. Posted by The edge, 29/12/2020 10:58

"From memory Mercedes & Ferrari are actually miles apart on the decision freeze engine development after 2021.

Mercedes are in favour of a blanket freeze whilst Ferrari are only in favour of a freeze if a measure of performance balance is put in place. Obviously Mercedes will never agree with what Ferrari want"

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5. Posted by kenji, 29/12/2020 10:40

"Ferrari and Renault have both indicated that if needed then they would make engines available to Red Bull. Red Bull are now saying that they will develop their own engine derived from Honda if they can get an engine freeze put in place. Hopefully they, the FIA, won't be suckered in by Red Bull. Mercedes are quite happy as this then 'bakes in' there advantage and no one else can challenge them. What a con. There has to be a 'quid pro quo' hiding in there somewhere and I can't find it!!! Could it possibly be Red Bull/Porsche?"

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6. Posted by Superbird70, 29/12/2020 10:32

"Red Bull Mugen?"

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7. Posted by Motorsport-fan, 29/12/2020 9:50

"Red Bull Cosworth?"

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