Christian Horner addresses ‘scaremongering’ claims that Red Bull are ‘in the sh*t’

Michelle Foster
Christian Horner on the pit wall. Baku, April 2023.

Christian Horner on the pit wall. Baku, April 2023.

Christian Horner has rubbished speculation his complaints about the 50/50 power split in the design of the 2026 engines is because Red Bull are in the “sh*t”.

Although Formula 1 agreed the 2026 power regulations back in August last season, the 50/50 split between engine and battery power enticing the likes of Audi and Ford to join the list of engine manufacturers with the latter teaming up with Red Bull, recently voices of discontent have spoken out.

Led by Horner, who fears the cars won’t be able to flat-out as the drivers will have to recharge their batteries midway through a lap, the team boss has spoken about F1 creating “Frankenstein” technology and has called for a rethink.

Red Bull and Mercedes at war over 2026 engine regulations

“F1 needs to be wheel-to-wheel racing. We can’t afford to lose that challenge and have drivers downshifting on the straights to regenerate batteries,” he explained.

His nemesis Toto Wolff responded to that by suggesting Red Bull are afraid their new Red Bull Powertrain Division won’t be able to design a race-winning engine.

“I think what frightens him is maybe that his engine programs is not coming along and maybe he wants to kill it that way,” said the Mercedes motorsport boss.

Sky Sports pundit David Croft weighed in their latest war-of-words, saying: “Immediately those comments are jumped on by their competitors saying: ‘You are only saying that because your engine is rubbish!’

“We don’t know if that’s true or not.

“Time after time in this sport, people want things changed because they think they won’t be as competitive as they are now, or as they might be against their peers in years to come.

“We’ll see what transpires.”

Horner, though, has been quick to scoff at suggestions Red Bull’s preparations for the 2026 engine aren’t going to plan.

“I know there is a lot of scaremongering going around, stories that Red Bull would have a hard time with the engine project and would be in sh*t,” he told Motorsport.com, “but to be honest I think we are in a good position at the moment.

“Time will tell of course.

“All I can say is that we still have 30 months, so two and a half years, before our engine will really run in the cars. That’s the focus of everyone here.”

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But while there has been a fair amount of speculation about Red Bull’s engine project of late, F1 journalist Joe Saward had a tour of the Red Bull Powertrain factory earlier this week and says he was impressed with what he saw.

“I cannot relate much about what I saw, except that it was very impressive and the team is far more advanced on 2026 engines than I had ever imagined,” he wrote in his latest blog.

“Those who are aiming to compete need to buck up their ideas.”

Read next: Red Bull gain surprise ally in fight with Mercedes over F1 2026 engines