Red Bull announces engine company

Following Honda’s decision to exit Formula One as a power unit manufacturer at the end of the 2021 season, Red Bull has reached an agreement with Honda Motor Co Ltd to use Honda F1 power unit technology from the beginning of the 2022 season.

This follows the FIA’s introduction of a Formula 1 power unit development freeze that takes effect from the beginning of the 2022 season. The Red Bull/Honda agreement covers the duration of the development freeze, enabling the use of Honda power unit technology in both Red Bull Racing and, sister team, Scuderia AlphaTauri’s cars until the next generation engines are introduced in 2025.

In order to run the project, a new company named Red Bull Powertrains Limited has been formed. This new division will be housed and operated from Red Bull Racing’s F1 Team base on the Red Bull Technology Campus in Milton Keynes.

“We have been discussing this topic with Honda for some time and following the FIA’s decision to freeze power unit development from 2022, we could at last reach an agreement regarding the continued use of Honda’s hybrid power units,” said Red Bull Motorsport Advisor, Dr Helmut Marko. “We are grateful for Honda’s collaboration in this regard and for helping to ensure that both Red Bull Racing and Scuderia AlphaTauri continue to have competitive power units. The establishment of Red Bull Powertrains Limited is a bold move by Red Bull but it is one we have made after careful and detailed consideration. We are aware of the huge commitment required but we believe the creation of this new company is the most competitive option for both teams.”

24 thoughts on “Red Bull announces engine company

  1. Having tried their carbonated cherry-flavoured cough syrup, once, I am continually amazed at the vast quantities sold to support Red Bull’s various sports marketing activities.
    Before anyone suggests McLaren could have used this in-house powertrain technology more than Red Bull, e.g., for its road cars, keep in mind that regulators are all but outlawing the ICE by 2030, including hybrids.

      1. For the UK car manufacturing, which will continue regardless of the power train, counts for 1 – 1.5% of GDP. In the US it’s about 3%. So the short answer to what will happen to the economy in 2030 when the sale of ICEs are outlawed (not including hybrids which have until 2035) is not a lot. No one but the most dedicated of petrol heads will be buying anything but EVs by then anyway.

      2. Not a lot.

        It will only affect new cars, so all the last ICEs will be sold off before the end of December and EV sales will be below manufacturer’s expectations in 2031.

        ICE cars will possibly depreciate more slowly and change intervals could be extended. People will probably commute less by then. Not Joe, who could not do his job properly with an EV and i doubt that he will chose to become yet another chair-bound Internet scribe.

        However, in terms of GDP, I suspect that its impact will be minimal when compared to both Brexit, or Covid in 2020.

        We are destined to be burning hydrocarbons for a long time yet. Bill Gates is correct in his assessment.

  2. Do you know whether the IP has been sold to Red Bull or licensed? The reason I ask is the question of branding and the possibility of customer teams. Also, under the PU supply rules, do you think Red Bull could be required to supply others in the event of something like a sudden Renault withdrawal or Ferrari’s units being uncompetitive again?

    Anyway, good news for F1.

  3. I wonder if Honda will continue to supply items like cylinder block castings and head castings on a commercial basis, as setting up an aluminium foundry to make those, would be a huge undertaking for Red Bull. I suppose as Honda will supply complete drawings for things like casting patterns, cores, moulds etc, a third party company with the appropriate facilities, such as Riccardo or Haworth (specialists in aluminium alloy castings for the aerospace industry), could then supply the castings, formerly made by Honda in Japan.

  4. Red Bull has burnt every power supply bridge over the years. While they were very fortunate for the FIA’s freeze, one can only speculate how much influence keeping Red Bull in the F1 fold the FIA took into consideration? The freeze itself is potentially daunting if one considers a manufacture like Ferrari. If at the point of the freeze, should they have a non-competitive engine, as they do now, what do they do until 2025? No doubt with Haas’ effectively doubling their developing, now that they’ll have a base at Fiorano, will help. Time will tell.

    1. Hi Joe, with this engine freeze is it going to be an actual freeze, or are the same “reliability improvement” loopholes going to be put in place like they were when the V8s were frozen in 2006?

      1. Does one have to garden only when re-entering the same industry? I doubt Mercedes would want to keep paying him if he was going to go to something non-F1 related.

        1. The timescale and scope of post-contract restrictions imposed on key personnel has never been properly tested in court, so it is difficult for either party to know what is acceptable. The legal advice I received was that a year would be a reasonable time limit, but I should aim for the scope to be restricted to positions where I materially affected the business/prospects of the company I was leaving.

  5. I think as you said this has been a done deal for months and settled following the engine freeze which is good.

    Off this topic, William Storey of Rich Energy infamy has announced yesterday on twitter & possibly elsewhere that having failed to buy Force India with a Russian Associate, and failed to buy McLaren or Williams, he has agreed the purchase later this year a majority stake in an existing F1 team that is currently for sale. Rich Energy will then supposedly be the headline sponsor for the 2022 season. I can’t think of any team wanting to be the subject of the ridicule that would follow.

    I think the pigs are at the end of a runway preparing for take off, but wonder if you might have any other information?

    1. I couldn’t give a monkey’s about Storey. I ignore his ramblings. If one day somthing he says comes true then I might pay him some attention, but right now, writing about him simply serves his purpose of getting free publicity when he cannot afford to promote whatever product he has. I find the whole thing tiresome.

  6. Joe, off-topic I know but, with McLaren unveiling their car today, I got to wondering if you used to attend the car reveals in the past? Were they ever worthy of enough news for you to make the trip to them? Just curious.

    1. I used to do them, but they got less and less useful as the access to the people became more and more restricted. In the end it wasn’t worth the effort.

  7. Unlikely engine freeze seemed like a big deal till you see they only brought it forward 1 year and the next gen engines has also been moved closer by 1 year.
    I would think everyone is happy with that as the next gen is meant to be cheaper.
    Mercedes blurb not on the car? Its just an engine they paid for. Never figured out how Honda stood for Aston martin being all over the red bull car. Maybe thats why they pulled the plug.
    Hope Mclaren go well as they have a top lineup of drivers but being so restricted in what they could
    do to fit new engine may play a part.
    Agree with you these new car things are not what they used to be as all access it tightly controlled and Journalists just get fed the press release.
    Guess virus played its part this year

  8. I’ve been looking for an appropriate thread to ask this and you will probably say I should read your BOMS but I cannot afford it, So, please can you say what happened financially with Williams.

    The stock WGF1 is still shown on the Bourse at €10.50 with a huge spread, but has remained at the same mid price since mid November 20. The London quoted stock OW4R remains at £17.50 the same since mid 2018. I had previously thought that new owners had bought all the loose shares on the market and probably those of Patrick and the family holdings Thus taken it private, however this then puzzled me. I know you do not allow links so please read then delete if necessary. So can you throw any light on the terms of current ownership please?

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