Red Bull boss Christian Horner said their 2026 power unit programme is what “keeps me awake most at the moment”, but there is also a great deal of excitement with the nerves.
Red Bull has been reliant on an outside engine since joining the grid in 2005, not that it is hurting them currently, with their exclusive Honda deal helping to power them to back-to-back Constructors’ titles in dominant fashion, while Max Verstappen has won three World Championship titles in a row.
2026 though will mark a major change in how Red Bull go about their Formula 1 business as they become a power unit manufacturer for the first time.
Christian Horner nervous and excited for 2026
Red Bull Powertrains, in partnership with Ford, will launch its first power unit designed to the new regulations for 2026.
At that point, they will join Mercedes, Ferrari, Honda, Renault and Audi as F1 power unit manufacturers.
Asked on Channel 4 by former Red Bull driver Mark Webber whether he is nervous for that huge step in Red Bull’s F1 story come 2026, Horner replied: “Yeah, that probably keeps me awake most at the moment.”
That being said, Horner sees plenty of reasons to be optimistic that Red Bull will make a success of this as preparations continue.
Horner said this will be done the “Red Bull way” with “great talent” on board, as the team bring their power unit in-house at Milton Keynes.
“That’s a start-up company, but we’ve got some great talent, we’re doing it the Red Bull way and we’ve got help from Ford as a fantastic partner as well,” Horner continued.
“And we’re making good progress. Still two years to go on that, but a lot of work going on behind the scenes.
“But it’s great. You’ve got to challenge yourself in life. And I think for us, bringing that engine on-site, on-campus in Milton Keynes, in the UK, is a fantastic thing to be doing.”
Red Bull will look to add further title success to their partnership with Honda before they go their separate ways, as Honda then join forces with Aston Martin from 2026.