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Horner: Mercedes was a very short conversation

Horner: "Mercedes was a very short conversation"

30-06-2021 13:48 Last update: 16:38

The departure of Honda from Formula 1 has hit Red Bull Racing hard. The Austrian team was at a loss as to which power unit to use for the 2022 season. Christian Horner talks about the search for a new engine supplier.

"The most natural thing was to have a discussion with the existing suppliers. Mercedes was a very short conversation and Toto obviously wasn’t particularly keen on that one," he said of the Mercedes team boss in the podcast Beyond the Grid. Renault did not appear to be an option either. "Their aspirations as a team didn’t include supplying a team like Red Bull."

Talks with Ferrari

The pinnacle of motorsport is home to just four engine manufacturers, so only Ferrari remained. "Probably the most willing was Ferrari. And, you know, we had some exploratory discussions, but to be a customer, so to have to accept all the integration particularly with the new regulations coming would be a massively hard pill to swallow," Red Bull would then have to take into account the dimensions of the Ferrari engine with the design of the RB17.

So the team of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez felt little for that either. "That’s when we started to explore the possibility: 'OK, how do we take on this challenge in a Red Bull manner and see if we can put a deal together with Honda in the foreseeable future?'" Eventually, Honda's existing IP (intellectual property) was acquired and set up under the new Red Bull Powertrains set-up.

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