Christian Horner makes stance clear with Andretti engine demand

Jamie Woodhouse
Red Bull boss Christian Horner, wearing sunglasses, in the paddock at the Italian Grand Prix.

Christian Horner is under investigation by Red Bull GmbH

Red Bull boss Christian Horner says General Motors joining F1 would be a “massive” boost, but that is if they develop their own power unit. 

The FIA has given approval for a team formed by Andretti Autosport and General Motors brand Cadillac to join the Formula 1 grid, with the next stage of the process now being to convince Formula 1 commercial rights holder Liberty Media to open the door.

That looks set to be a tough task though, with the teams and Formula 1 president Stefano Domenicali seemingly cold on the idea of expanding the grid.

Christian Horner wants GM to bring a power unit to F1

The reported plan is for Andretti-Cadillac, if accepted by F1, to initially run the Renault power unit with General Motors then weighing up their own engine programme from there.

For Horner, he sees a GM engine as a vital component of what they could bring to the table, referencing the appeal of the “Ford versus GM” rivalry in F1,  with Ford having partnered with Red Bull Powertrains for the new generation of power units to be unleashed from F1 2026.

However, Horner did question the fairness of Andretti-Cadillac joining as a new team, pointing to the way Audi secured their future arrival in the series by partnering with Sauber.

Asked by Sky F1 where he stands on this whole Andretti-Cadillac debate, Horner replied: “Well, look, I see this very much as an issue between the FIA and Liberty. FIA are the regulator, Liberty are the promoter and therefore they control the funding of the sport.

“And of course another team coming in, how is that going to be funded? So I think those guys need to get together and come to us with a proposal of what they want.

“I think that to have GM coming in in particular to Formula is a massively positive thing. We’re seeing Ford coming back in ’26. Ford versus GM would be fantastic.

“But ideally, I think they need to do their own engine. And I think that when you look at how Audi has come into the sport, they’ve acquired an existing team and an existing franchise. Should it be different for the others?

“I think that’s where Liberty and the FIA need to get together and come to us with a collective position because you can’t have one rule for one, another for others.” recommends

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Horner accepts though that there is more to this than whether GM develop their own engine or not, addressing the obvious topic of finances.

The widespread opposition among existing teams ultimately boils down to money, with the current $200 million anti-dilution fee, required from a new team, not seen as enough to convince existing outfits on an extra slice of the revenue pie being cut.

Asked if GM doing their own engine is all that is needed to satisfy Horner, he said: “It’s not just that, I think it’s much more than that.

“I think that there is a criteria. Obviously, money makes the world go round. And that’s what every team will be acutely sensitive of and the franchise value being diluted as suddenly you’d go from 10 to 11.

“So, of course, the stakeholders, the shareholders of each individual team will have a concern about that.”

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Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko has raised operational concerns regarding the Andretti-Cadillac bid on top of financial, claiming certain tracks will not be able to accommodate an 11th team.

Horner can see his point, name-dropping Zandvoort, home of the Dutch Grand Prix, as an example, though he returned to the point of all this being a dilemma for Formula 1 and the FIA to tackle, so they can come back to the teams once they have done that.

When pointed out that the Concorde Agreement allows for 12 F1 teams, Horner replied: “So about six years ago, there were four teams on the brink of leaving. And I think the sport has turned itself around, has reinvented itself and it’s in great shape and huge strength now.

“And of course, those 10 teams are effectively now franchises and they have a value and their shareholders will be looking to protect their value in that investment, they’ve invested across the teams billions and billions of dollars or pounds.

“And I think the teams will be looking to see, ‘Okay, what does this landscape look like, both commercially and operationally?’

“I mean, let’s face it, where would we put them in Zandvoort for example?

“So I think there’s some operational issues to overcome as well, but that’s for Liberty and the FIA, get together, come to us with a proposal and then we can all consider it.”

Horner’s Red Bull squad are the team to beat in Formula 1 right now, with consecutive Constructors’ and Drivers’ title doubles now secured after a Qatar sprint P2 finish and Grand Prix win for Max Verstappen.

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