Formula 1 Racing

Red Bull’s 2026 F1 engine will be “competitive” despite taking risks

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19, Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB19

In the wake of Honda’s decision to pull out of F1 in an official capacity at the end of 2021, Red Bull decided to bring engine development in-house at a new division on its Milton Keynes campus.

That is where the team’s engines for 2026 are being developed and built, when F1 will move to new power unit regulations that do away with the expensive and complicated MGU-H and place a bigger emphasis on energy harvested by the kinetic recovery system.

The team has gone on a large recruiting spree to get its engine division up and running and struck a strategic partnership deal with Ford that will see the American manufacturer pitch in with battery technology and embedded staff.

Despite admitting Red Bull has taken a “certain risk” by building its own engines rather than leaning on an existing manufacturer, Marko doesn’t think the team will be at a disadvantage.

“We are aware that this engine commitment also involves a certain risk, but that’s why we deliberately relied on a lot of experienced people,” Marko said in an interview on the
YouTube channel of’s sister publication

“The current figures from the combustion engine also make us feel positive, so I believe that we will at least not be at a disadvantage here and that we will also be reliable.

“And with Ford, we now have a partner in the battery sector. At the moment, all car manufacturers are very, very big in battery development. 

“You also have [Ford’s] expertise in the turbo sector that is a very important addition for us. And with this know-how addition, we believe we will be competitive.”

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19, Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB19

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

When asked about how Red Bull Powertrains is progressing, Marko explained that Red Bull is currently on schedule, with engines already being built and the ERS division due to be completed within two months.

“Six test benches have been running in the main building since the middle of last year,” he said. “More than one engine has already been completed. The improvements are clearly there and it’s just the way you develop an engine.

“An extension for the ERS activities is under construction, that should be completed in one to two months, so we are right on schedule.”

Marko added that Red Bull is still hiring additional staff for RBPT, with Audi’s arrival as Sauber’s future engine partner making the market even more competitive.

He admitted the team has also…

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