Red Bull is making no secret of its desire to link up with Porsche in Formula 1.
On Thursday, Volkswagen’s supervisory board finally approved F1 forays for both the Audi and Porsche brands to coincide with new engine regulations in 2026.
The news is contingent not only on the FIA’s ratification of those new rules, but also the finalisation of contracts with Audi and Porsche’s F1 team partners.
The real excitement is about which team will benefit from the rumoured EUR 1 billion spend that Audi is prepared to funnel into a Formula 1 project.
McLaren has dithered over a potential EUR 650 million deal, prompting new speculation of talks between Audi and the Alfa Romeo-Sauber and Aston Martin teams.
“No, I have absolutely no information about the discussion between the Sauber Group and the Volkswagen Group,” team boss Frederic Vasseur said in Melbourne.
Alfa’s team manager Beat Zehnder, however, is willing to say a little more.
“We’ve already worked with Mercedes and BMW,” he told Sky Deutschland. “Audi would fit in well here.
“We are certainly an attractive partner, especially with our performance of the first two races. But I can’t say anything because I’m not involved in the talks,” Zehnder added.
“But we would be an attractive partner, not only for Audi but also for Porsche.”
However, it is more than obvious that Porsche’s plan is to slot in seamlessly with Red Bull, who are already preparing to put the first ‘Red Bull’ engine on the dynamometer later this year.
“Now the talks will begin,” Dr Helmut Marko admits to Sport Bild.
Team boss Christian Horner says Red Bull Powertrains is viable even without a carmaker partnership, but he said talks with Porsche are “logical”.
“It’s exciting for Formula 1, it’s exciting for Porsche and for Audi and potentially a link-up with Red Bull would be eye-wateringly exciting,” he said.