Red Bull Racing Partnership With Volkswagen Still Possible: Toto Wolff

Shloke Sarkar

Red Bull Racing announced back in February that after Honda’s decision to exit from Formula 1 at the end of 2021 that it would be forming its own engine division called Red Bull Powertrains, with the company deciding to acquire the IP of its existing Honda power units currently in use.

The new division will be part of Red Bull’s campus at Milton Keynes, with plans to produce a new power unit in-house for 2025 at the time of the next gen engine rules.

Red Bull had earlier sent out a statement for its powertrains division regarding the signing of Ben Hodgkinson, a senior figure from Mercedes HPP (High-Performance Powertrains)

Red Bull chief Christian Horner spoke in the announcement about his wish for the team to control its own destiny, stating that the “ultimate expression of this is the development of a Red Bull power unit for the 2025 engine regulations.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has stated that Red Bull’s strategy for its engine planning was ‘not stupid”, believing the door was still open for a Volkswagen brand tie up with the likes of Audi or Porsche.

“On one side, they are keen on doing their own power unit, but it’s no secret that the Volkswagen Group with their two brands is looking at Formula 1, and has been part of the discussions,” Wolff said.

“So [Red Bull] can at any moment decide if they want to stick to their own power unit, or go with a top German manufacturer.

“On the other side, the arrangement they have on the IP side with Honda is really makes sense. They are taking over the IP from Honda and obviously developing the new power unit into 2025.

“It could stay within Red Bull power units, or it could go to Porsche/Audi. So overall, I think it makes sense what they do.”

The German carmaker had earlier announced that it was ceasing all its motorsport operations late last year moving its 169 employees into the Volkswagen AG network.

“I think it’s very early stages,” Wolff said. “They’ve expressed an interest, and that was public, and in that respect, I would very much hope that they enter the sport.

“Volkswagen Group has a historic connection with Red Bull all over the platforms, and it’s just logical that they are going to look at a relationship with Red Bull, and if they can utilise the Honda IP, and the learning there from whatever Volkswagen power unit would enter.

“I’m saying would, because I have no idea and it is none of my business. But they will benefit from all these relationships and intellectual property carried forward.”

When asked about this, Horner had this to stay: “At the moment, there are no discussions in place, it’s focused on being called a Red Bull engine,”

“But of course that engine could be called anything in the future. But to have it integrated fully into Milton Keynes is tremendously exciting.”

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