Red Bull would prefer to keep engine production in-house by licensing Honda’s IP than become a customer of another Formula 1 supplier, says team advisor Helmut Marko.
Set to lose works status with Honda when the Japanese company leaves F1 at the end of 2021, Red Bull is in search of a power supply that will not only keep them on the grid, but in championship contention.
As a result, Marko says the team is exploring the possibility of taking matters into its own hands.
“It’s a very complex subject – just as complex as these engines are,” Marko said in an interview with Sport1. “We would favour, provided the talks with Honda are positive, that we take over the IP rights and everything that is necessary, to then prepare and deploy the engines ourselves in Milton Keynes.
“But this is only possible on condition that the engines are frozen by the first race in 2022 at the latest. We cannot afford further development, neither technically nor financially. That is a prerequisite.”
Should Red Bull look to pursue such a direction, Honda’s F1 managing director Masashi Yamamoto has indicated he would be open to the idea, and as Marko notes, his team will be hard-pressed to get the sort of technical cooperation they currently enjoy with Mercedes, Ferrari or Renault, all of which have teams of their own.
“All engine manufacturers have their own team and that means they develop the engine around their chassis.
“We would get something where we would have to adapt our chassis and our ideas secondary, and we would be confronted with a technical solution that we would have to accept.
“That’s why the Honda solution is [our favourite]. Nevertheless, we are exploring all possibilities.
“According to the FIA regulations, every engine manufacturer has committed itself to supplying other teams. If something like this is to be a possibility for us, then it must fit the overall situation, and it must make us competitive.
“A happy forced marriage is not an issue for us.”