Red Bull continues to expand its engine division. So far, 170 employees have been taken on board. RB Powertrains is set up in such a way that you have the choice: either do everything yourself or in partnership with a manufacturer.
Porsche could come. Red Bull has set up its engine department in such a way that all options are open. "We can do everything alone or we can team up with a manufacturer," explains team manager Christian Horner. Red Bull has selected its employees in such a way that the internal combustion engine will definitely be built in Milton Keynes. However, expertise in the field of turbochargers and batteries would be welcome. That could be Porsche territory.
It will be a few more years before the time comes. Red Bull has until 2026 to set up its own drive. It should start from mid-2022. By then, the new drive regulations will have been set down to the last detail, so that the development of the motor, MGU-K, battery and power electronics can begin. By then, most of the work bans on future Red Bull engineers will have expired.
Red Bull is fighting to be classified as a newcomer in the new engine era, which means that you are awarded a higher cost cap and more test bench hours. If there is a joint venture with Porsche, that could cause trouble. Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault have already announced that they will not accept two players developing in parallel for a while and then throwing their results together. This would have slowed down the cost and test bench limits.
45 Mercedes employees
Currently, 170 employees have already been recruited for the new company. 45 of them come from the Mercedes engine manufacturer HPP. From Red Bull's point of view, this has the nice side effect that the World Cup opponent is weakened. Most of the staff will be involved in designing and building the new power unit. You don't have to worry about day-to-day business yet. This is done by Honda on behalf.
Red Bull did not buy the intellectual property of the Japanese, but acquired the right to use it. This is also due to the fact that part of the IP also includes the development of Honda partner Ilmor. And it wasn't for sale. Since the rights remain with Honda, it is also the task of the Japanese to assemble and maintain the product on behalf of third parties.
It has not yet been decided whether this will remain the case until 2025. Contracts with Honda are reviewed year after year. Since the engines continue to be built at Honda's Sakura development center, it's a bit difficult to look over your shoulder. While Honda is out of Formula 1, they also have an interest in their heritage working reliably. Especially in the first year with the new E10 fuel.
Experts already have the impression that Honda secretly regrets the exit and is keeping the umbilical cord to Formula 1 alive with the service for Red Bull. The way the new engine regulations are announced would also be interesting for Honda. And with a budget cap and test bench restrictions, it is also ensured that Formula 1 will no longer be a money-wasting machine.