The engine regulations from the 2026 season will change significantly. The V6 turbo engine will remain in Formula 1, but it will be without the expensive MGU-H system and will have a larger battery and rely more on electric propulsion. The internal combustion engine itself, which should be stressed, already uses sustainable fuel fully.
Max Verstappen’s team will work with Ford to develop a new engine, which is to contribute to the development of hybrid units, although many people still believe that the most important area of cooperation between the two brands will be marketing.
Christina Horner revealed in an interview with RacingNews365 that her team plans to involve “around 450 – 475 people” in the new project, but admits that this number is affected by budget restrictions that will come into force in 2026.
The boss of Red Bull did not completely refuse to supply other teams with engines, but he admitted that at the initial stage he would prefer to focus only on his two teams, despite the fact that McLaren, among others, has already shown interest in a possible partnership. .
“I believe we will be deploying two teams initially, because as a start-up project, a new producer, we would put a huge burden on ourselves if we wanted to deploy more teams.”
“I think we want to focus on serving the two Red Bull teams. We have a lot of interest from other teams – at least two other teams have shown interest. But we’re not ready for that yet.”
However, Horner revealed that this approach could change in the future: “We have the ability to take on additional teams in the future, but for the first few years we want to focus on the Red Bull teams until we strengthen this business, the track. operations, all these related things and engine equipment in a competitive environment.”
New teams can come to Formula 1, and there are provisions in the regulations that oblige manufacturers to supply engines so that no team risks being left without a car.
Horner believes that any intervention by the FIA in this matter will have a real impact.
“They can do that. But it is unlikely that they will do that for a new manufacturer unless a few others decide to quit. We are required by law to do that if we are called to do that, but I believe the probability of that scenario is zero.”
When asked about the name of the power units, the Red Bull boss did not want to lift the veil of secrecy, claiming that “the decision will be made internally”. However, he ruled out selling AlphaTauri, which had already rejected an offer of $800 million.
“The team may be attractive to investors, but there are no plans to sell or reduce AlphaTauri,” added Horner. “I think it’s the right decision given the current Formula 1 rules.”
Horner also admitted that the main reason that made his team decide to take on the challenge of producing their own units, apart from the fact that the basic architecture will not be changed significantly, was also the budget constraints.
“Initially we just wanted to license the deal with Honda so we could build engines under their license,” he explained.
“But the more we dug into it, getting into the intellectual property issues, working with the Japanese vendors, it turned out to be impossible.”
“Finally, fortunately, thanks to a good relationship with Honda, we were able to sign their services until the end of 2025, while we focus on building our engine department for the 2026 season.”
“Initially it would have been four-cylinder engines with a completely different architecture and everyone would have had to start from scratch. In the end we ended up with the current engine without the MGU-H system and a bigger battery.”
“This gives existing suppliers a huge advantage that we want to use to get.”