Following news that Formula 1 has agreed to an engine development freeze from 2022, Red Bull is pushing ahead with plans to operate its own engine shop at its Milton Keynes base.
Red Bull had been pushing for the freeze after its supplier, Honda, announced its withdrawal from the sport at the end of the 2021 season.
The team has been putting plans in place to acquire the rights to continue running Honda’s engine until a new engine formula is introduced in 2025, but on the basis that development is frozen as Red Bull would be unable to finance a development programme alongside running its two teams.
With the freeze now agreed, Red Bull’s Helmut Marko confirmed the team would be adapting an existing building into an engine shop, which will allow it to maintain, service and test the engines.
“Now everything is happening, now it’s starting. As of today, the course has been set for a new company to be established in Milton Keynes,” Marko told Motorsport-Magazin. “That will be Red Bull Powertrains.”
“Building eight, one of our existing buildings, is being adapted into an engine shop.”
Although Honda developed its own base in Milton Keynes, Red Bull won’t be taking over this facility as it’s not geared up for its requirements.
“The Honda shop is more geared towards the electric motors. There are not enough and not even the latest test benches to carry out the necessary optimisation on the motor.”
Although the news is good for Red Bull, Marko insists it will also benefit other manufacturers which won’t need to run two costly development programmes for the current power unit and the future engine.
“I think this is not only good news for us, but also for the whole of Formula 1 in general. This reduces a considerable cost factor.
“We’re crazy, but we’ve done the math and calculations. It is a one-time investment in the building and in the test benches. But the running costs will not be so much higher than if we had bought an engine elsewhere. It costs more, but not significantly more.”