According to Helmut Marko, several teams were interested in getting into bed with Red Bull's Formula 1 team.
Normally when Red Bull's infamous consultant, Dr. Helmut Marko, speaks up, we turn the TV down. But recently, he made a statement that caught our attention.
Apparently, Porsche wasn't the only manufacturer that wanted to hop in bed with the top-tier team. Unfortunately, that deal went dead after the two entities failed to reach an agreement. It's unclear what will happen to Porsche, but worth stating that it has a trademark designed and ready to go.
According to Marko, who spoke with Auto Motor und Sport, there were several manufacturers interested in striking a deal. Marko did not name the brands, but the publication used its connections to connect the dots.
Hyundai, BMW, and Ford were reportedly shopping around for a partner. Hyundai seemingly went as far as having a meeting with Stefano Domenicali, the CEO of Formula 1.
Why the sudden interest in F1? The one-size-fits-all explanation is F1's popularity in motorsport. Racing on Sunday and selling on Monday is a genuine phenomenon, and 2023 is set to be a bumper year for F1. In 2023, three additional races will be run, taking the total to a record-breaking 24. Three of those races will be hosted in the USA in Austin, Miami, and Las Vegas.
American eyeballs will be glued to the television screens, and who wouldn't want a piece of that action? And don't forget about all the exposure in the other countries the F1 circus visits during a regular season.
The second obvious reason is proof that electricity can be fun and reliable. The current engine regulations will be in play until 2025, which is the main reason why Porsche and Red Bull could not come to an agreement. Red Bull is in the process of building Red Bull Powertrains, and it already has a working prototype. Honda will support this venture until 2025, and there isn't any room for Porsche.
The new regulations, which will come into effect in 2026, require the power unit to be 50% ICE and 50% electric. Several components will also be standardized and made from longer lasting materials. The most expensive engine components, which have no real-world application, have also been removed.
As a result, F1 now has a lower entry price than ever. And by cheaper, we mean more affordable in the same way a Ferrari 296 GTB is cheaper than a Daytona SP3.
All three brands have a solid history in motorsport. Ford beat Ferrari at Le Mans, BMW used to compete in F1 but now prefers endurance racing, and Hyundai is making a literal splash in the World Rally Championship.
The three brands also have EVs to sell, and F1 will be the perfect platform for proving the reliability of an EV battery pack. In short, if a battery pack can last eight Grand Prix races, surely it's good enough to power a Mustang Mach-E to the yoga studio and back.