Red Bull-Honda deal for 2026 reportedly off as new F1 contender emerges

F1 Grand Prix of Japan - Practice
Red Bull and Honda have not apparently reached an agreement for the PU partnership.

The Red Bull-Honda partnership appears to be off the table for the 2026 F1 regulations, as there appears to be interest from other contenders like Ford.

As reported by AMuS, Honda are expected to enroll in the engine formula from 2026, but they're expected to do so independently instead of a joint venture with RB Powertrains.

The report reads:

"Honda is expected to enroll in the engine formula from 2026. We may find out what the Japanese plans are at the big title celebration in a week's time in Motegi. In the paddock, it is said that Honda will register separately and will not enter into a joint venture with RB Powertrains, but will develop the complete drivetrain in-house and then return with another team."

The more intriguing point here is that even though Red Bull might not partner with Honda, there appears to be interest from Ford. Lest we forget, Red Bull bought the current team from a Ford subsidiary Jaguar in 2004. The report read:

"Nevertheless, RB Powertrains remains an interesting partner for car companies. There is a working engine factory in Milton Keynes employing 300 engineers and mechanics, and the prototype internal combustion engine is already running on the test bench. Sports director Helmut Marko recently hinted that there were other interested parties in addition to Honda. In the meantime, a clear favourite has apparently emerged. It's supposed to be Ford."

Red Bull won their first constructor title in almost a decade.

After Red Bull's cancellation, Porsche wanted to try other options

According to the aforementioned report, both the F1 and FIA have encouraged Porsche to follow the same path as Honda and enter the sport with their own team.

There were initially rumours of Hyundai being interested in joining F1, but for the time being, their 2026 F1 entry seems misplaced. The report read:

"FIA and F1 management encourage Porsche to do the same as Honda. Enroll on suspicion to have your foot in the door in 2026. After Red Bull's cancellation, Porsche wanted to explore other options. Formula 1 is still too early for Hyundai. The Koreans can still get in in 2027. The registration period for this expires on June 30, 2023."

It's interesting to see how attractive the new power unit regulations would be. It's been a long time in the sport that the new regulations have given an opportunity to many global players. With Ferrari, Mercedes, Renault, and Honda already present, there could be more new players to join the F1 bandwagon.

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