The Red Bull deal fell through, but Porsche is not walking away from F1.
Red Bull team boss Christian Horner recently appeared on the F1: Beyond The Grid podcast.
He finally squashed several rumors about why the Red Bull and Porsche relationship did not work out. Red Bull started its own powertrain development division, while Porsche wanted total control of power unit development. It was obviously a huge stumbling block, and the two parties decided to go their separate ways.
This left Porsche in a tough position, and there were several rumors suggesting that it would simply walk away from the sport, even though it went through the trouble of trademarking an F1 marketing strategy.
That's not the case, as the FIA recently announced that Porsche is still shopping around for a partner.
The World Motor Sport Council recently met in London to discuss several key points. We're sure Red Bull's budget breach was also high on the list of talking points, so we'll likely know its punishment within the next few days.
"At Spa-Francorchamps in August, Audi announced it was joining the FIA Formula One World Championship from 2026 as a power unit manufacturer. This announcement was an endorsement of the hard work by all stakeholders to develop those regulations. We also note that Porsche are still in discussions with Formula 1 teams," said FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem.
The regulations Ben Sulayem are referring to are the approved 2026 power unit regulations, which make it easier than ever for manufacturers to get back into the sport.
As mentioned, Audi confirmed it would be returning and has already started setting up shop in the UK. Audi has yet to confirm its F1 partner, but it's widely believed that the German brand will take over Sauber once Alfa Romeo's agreement expires at the end of 2023.
As Audi also doesn't have a confirmed partner, Porsche's situation is not as dire as it may seem. The main problem is that there are very few teams that aren't already related to an automotive manufacturer. It's just Haas and Williams. These teams are currently running at the back of the grid and may not be the best way to market an EV like the Porsche Taycan, which is the whole point of joining F1.
The other option is to start an F1 team from scratch, which is a costly exercise. As we've seen with Andretti Autosport, the existing F1 teams aren't keen on new people joining the grid. According to the current Concorde Agreement, only 26 vehicles may compete in a race. Currently, there are 20 cars on the grid, meaning there's still room left for three teams with two cars each.
It's going to be interesting to see how this plays out. We don't think Porsche will partner with any of the existing brands like Mercedes, Alpine, Ferrari, McLaren, or Aston Martin, as all of these brands sell rival products.
Still, stranger things have happened. Even though the new rules only come into effect in 2026, Porsche needs to hurry up. Red Bull already has a working prototype engine for 2026, and there are rumors that other manufacturers are also sniffing around, trying to capitalize on F1's newfound fame.