The Volkswagen Group confirmed on Thursday night that it was interested in entering Formula 1 with its Audi and Porsche brands for the next generation of power unit rules that come into force from 2026.
But Volkswagen made it clear that it was still in the “final phase of evaluation” and that it would not commit to reaching Formula 1 until new engine regulations were announced.
If final approval is given, Porsche is expected to join Red Bull Racing, which does not have a motorsport partner following Honda’s exit late last year, and negotiations between the two parties have long been ongoing.
Red Bull has already created its own powertrain division to manage Honda’s frozen engine designs until new engine regulations come into force in 2026.
Asked in Melbourne by Motorsport.com about the VW Group announcement, Horner said it was “great news for Formula 1 that two brands like that are considering getting into Formula 1”.
Horner added that it is “logical that we would have discussions with them” and explained that it would be a simple process to adjust Red Bull Powertrains ‘ plans to work with a potential new partner such as Porsche.
“It would be very easy, but it would have to be with the right partner, of course,” Horner said. “So it would be logical for us to have discussions with both suppliers, or any serious supplier.”
“For us, Powertrains is on track, it’s on schedule, and we’re really excited about the talent we’ve managed to bring into the business.”
Detalle del motor del Red Bull Racing RB16B
Red Bull has rapidly expanded its Milton Keynes facility to establish the engine division and according to the Milton Keynes team manager they are in “good shape” and “according to plan”, but he cautions that they have never depended on attracting a potential new engine partner.
“The first single-cylinder engine will be underway imminently for the 2026 regulations,” said Horner. “We moved into the new facility at the end of May. In the hiring process we’ve attracted some fantastic talent to the company. So yeah, we’re happy with the progress.”
Should a deal between Red Bull and Porsche close from 2026, the Milton Keynes facility would offer the German manufacturer flexibility over where its power unit is developed.
Red Bull driver Max Verstappen said the prospect of Porsche and Audi joining F1 in some way was “very exciting” and “very important” for the series.
“We have 10 great teams, but also have really great brands, to see that commitment, I’m looking forward to seeing what the future brings for the teams,” said the defending champion.