Horner doubles down on Porsche fears


Christian Horner has doubled down on Red Bull's fears for its DNA had the partnership with Porsche proceeded.

His comments follow the German manufacturer's official confirmation on Friday morning that a partnership with the Austrian team would "not come about".

Speaking to the media at Monza, Horner claimed that Porsche had been "getting ahead of themselves" in terms of what they wanted from the partnership, a partnership, which according to Horner, threatened its DNA and its future.

"Big organisations, obviously they need significant planning," said the Briton. "And I think perhaps, they were slightly getting a little bit ahead of themselves.

"But there was never a binding commitment signed between the parties," he insisted, "that must have been subjective on their part.

"One of our core strengths has been our independence and our quick decision making and lack of bureaucracy," he continued. "We're a race team fundamentally and that enables us to make quick decisions, effective decisions, and react very quickly as a race team.

"We've seen on so many occasions, manufacturers have been less autonomous in their decision making. And that was a key aspect of protecting what we have and how we operate."

As Audi, which has confirmed its entry in 2026 is linked with a buy-in at Sauber, there has been talk of Porsche seeking a 50% stake in Red Bull.

"There was an expression of interest," admitted Horner. "The shareholders obviously considered it and decided that that wasn't right for Red Bull Racing or Red Bull Technology or Red Bull Powertrains."

It's believed that the independence of the powertrains division is particularly important to Red Bull, which has spared no expense in recruiting some of the best people in the business.

What we were interested in is, when you're building a power unit entity from scratch, with an OEM, what could they potentially bring to the party that we didn't have access to?" said Horner. "Having done our due diligence, we felt that actually we were in good shape. And with the recruitment that we've made, technically, we don't feel at any real disadvantage to our competitors."

Asked by Motorsport.com about the money Porsche would have brought to the table, Horner said: "There was never a financial discussion.

"Porsche is a great brand," he continued. "But the DNA is quite different. During the discussion process it became clear that there was a strategic non-alignment.

"Red Bull has demonstrated what it's capable of in F1. And obviously, as an independent team and now engine manufacturer we look forward to go to competing against the OEMs with the powertrain as well as the chassis.

"We committed to becoming a powertrain manufacturer a year and a half ago, or just over that," he added. "We've invested massively in facilities and people and the first Red Bull engine fired up approximately a month ago.

"So it's a tremendously exciting new chapter for Red Bull, and it's never been contingent or dependent upon an involvement from a third party or an OEM. That was absolutely never a prerequisite."

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Published: 10/09/2022
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