The Formula 1 dream marriage between Porsche and Red Bull will not exist. The industry leader from Austria has brushed off the German sports car manufacturer.
In an almost eight-line message, Porsche announced the end of all negotiations. "The premise was always a partnership at eye level, which includes not only an engine partnership but also the team. This could not be realized," it said. "There was never a financial discussion. Porsche is a great brand. But the DNA is quite different," said Red Bull team boss Christian Horner at motorsport.com.
Porsche wanted a say
For months there was speculation about Porsche's entry into the currently dominant racing team in the top motorsport class for the 2026 season. The deal was supposed to be announced in July at Red Bull's home race in Styria. Nothing came of it. But time was of the essence, and engine manufacturers had to register with the International Automobile Association by October 15th.
Audi, the other VW subsidiary, came first and announced about two weeks ago that it would start the 2026 season, the partner is still officially unknown. But it should be the Swiss Sauber racing team, which is currently starting as Alfa Romeo.
Porsche wanted to take off with Red Bull. In return, the company also wanted shares in the team of Austrian billionaire Dietrich Mateschitz, which is likely to win both titles again this year and is currently the measure of all things in Formula 1 with world champion Max Verstappen.
There is talk of 50 percent shares that Porsche wanted. Of course, that would have guaranteed a corresponding say in the racing team, which celebrated its Formula 1 debut in 2005 as the successor to Jaguar. Since then, Horner (48) has led Red Bull Racing. At his side, Mateschitz intimate Helmut Marko (79), the head of motorsport at Red Bull, has an influence.
Red Bull wants to remain "independent".
"The team is the biggest marketing asset for Red Bull worldwide - why should we strategically endanger that in the long term," Horner recently emphasized. "Red Bull has always been an independent team, that's one of our strengths and has been the cornerstone of what we've achieved and being able to react quickly. It's part of our DNA."
Group structures like Porsche, which wants to go public this year, were ultimately felt by the Red Bull bosses as a brake. Especially since the team is not dependent on an engine manufacturer. After partner Honda left at the end of 2021, Red Bull founded its own engine forge - Red Bull Powertrains.
The energy drink racing team uses the previously developed principles to build its own engine unit and continues to receive technical help from the Japanese. This agreement runs until the end of 2025. In order to be prepared for all eventualities afterwards, Red Bull has already brought in other high-ranking employees - including from Mercedes - for the engine project.
Porsche wants to continue in Formula 1
But what happens now with the Porsche plans? The VW subsidiary made it clear that entry into the premier class of motorsport is generally not ruled out if talks with Red Bull fail. With the comprehensive changes to the regulations from the 2026 season, the racing series remains “an attractive environment for Porsche that will continue to be monitored”. From then on, the hybrid engines will be operated with 100 percent sustainable fuel. The combustion engine in the unit should only contribute 50 percent of the power, the rest is electric. That fits with the realignment of the auto industry.
But Porsche doesn't have much time left. The enrollment period is about a month from now. McLaren or Williams are now mentioned in the media as possible partners. Both are run by German team bosses. Andreas Seidl (McLaren) used to work successfully for Porsche, Jost Capito (Williams) for Volkswagen.