Christian Horner insisted Red Bull will be in full control of their fate in 2026, when they manufacture their own power unit and are no longer under the mercy of a supplier.
Red Bull have gone through the pains of having to deal with subpar power units delivered to them by suppliers before, particularly with Renault at the start of the turbo-hybrid era in Formula 1.
At that time and following a great run of success between 2010 and 2013 with Renault power, the French manufacturer got their sums wrong with the power unit they designed for the new rules in 2014, which was underpowered and unreliable.
That caused the tensions to rise between the two partners leading to a split in 2019 after Red Bull ran TAG Heuer-branded Renault power units between 2016 and 2018.
Honda became Red Bull’s power unit supplier from 2019 onwards and while the Japanese company announced they would leave F1 at the end of 2021 after Max Verstappen sealed his first Title, the collaboration continued as Honda continued supplying power units to Red Bull against a fee.
However the 2023 F1 Constructors’ Champions decided to start their own power unit division, Red Bull Powertrains following their former partner’s exit from F1 and did not stop their plans despite Honda changing their minds, and now paired with Aston Martin for 2026 and beyond, Red Bull tying up with Ford.
Horner admitted the new power unit project doesn’t come without the sense of anxiety, but it least it means the team are in control of their own fate.
The buildup towards 2026 nerve wracking and exciting
When asked about it, and told Motorsport.com: “Yeah, but that’s life, isn’t it? Nothing lasts forever. You just got to keep evolving.
“At the moment we don’t want this season to stop,” he added. “But 2026, it’s the next chapter for us, and it’s taking control of the one bit of variable that we’ve had.
“I don’t think people perhaps comprehend the scale of the challenge that we’ve taken on for 2026. But the way the team is attacking it is exactly the same way that we have with the chassis.
“We’ve got two years which seems like a long way away, but we’ve pretty much got 100 weeks now to when we’re rolling down the pitlane with a Red Bull-designed and manufactured engine in the back of the car.
“So that’s nerve wracking and exciting all at once,” the Briton, whose team has so far utterly dominated the new F1 era since 2022 revealed.
“But we’re on a good trajectory. We have got some great people involved, and we have got a great culture. We’re looking forward, and I’m looking forward, to it,” he concluded.
Horner recently voiced his concerned regarding the new-for-2026 power units that will have a 50/50 ratio between internal combustion and electrical power while dropping the MGU-H.