Horner Admits Red Bull's 'Disadvantage' Against Ferrari Amid 'Ballsy' Move

Wednesday, 24 April 2024 at 21:00
horner christian redbull rbcp29
Red Bull Racing's team principal, Christian Horner, issued an update on the Red Bull Powertrains project during the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix weekend.
The team from Milton Keynes has been dominating in the first five race weekends of the 2024 season and seems on the right path to achieving both Drivers' and Constructors' titles for the third season in a row.
It is also expected that Red Bull will be the team to beat in the 2025 season. However, the Austrian team might lose all its advantages and fall down the order if it fails with its power unit project for 2026.
F1 will enter new regulations during the 2026 season. These regulations prescribe a new type of power unit that will be powered 50% by an internal combustion engine and 50% by electric power.
Red Bull has supplied its power units from Honda in the last couple of years, but their collaboration will end in 2026, and the team will now have to produce its own power unit starting from that season.
The Austrian team created a separate department called Red Bull Powertrains, which focuses purely on the power unit. Giving an update on the progress during the last weekend in China, Horner said:

"We're on a steep learning curve, where we've got about 70 years of disadvantage to Ferrari. We've got a great group of people, we're applying the same philosophy as we have on the chassis to the engine. It is a different challenge."

"We are only really going to see [what happens] in 2026, but we are meeting our targets at this point in time. With just under two years to run, if I look at the progress we've made in the last two years from a standing start, it has been very impressive."

Chassis rules are yet to be defined, but that is the least of Horner's current worries. If Red Bull fails to produce a strong enough power unit and loses its competitiveness, it could destroy the team as it is.
It could even result in the departure of key members like Max Verstappen, who won't be interested in competing in the midfield.
The team principal recently admitted that there is no Plan B. His team has gone all in on the project, and it remains to be seen how it turns out. Horner added:

"We don't even have any chassis rules yet, but if I was going to back any team to get the chassis right, I think we've got a reasonable track record.

"It is very bold what we've done, very brave and it is pretty ballsy, Red Bull wouldn't have won 117 races and done what we've done making bold decisions."