Interesting to read that ip is not getting transferred as it is owned by both Honda and ilmore, i would have imagined it to be only on components that were jointly developed, and even those must be quiet a few generations back. Did ilmore and Honda work together past 2017?
Red Bull continues to expand its engine department. So far, 170 employees have already been taken on board. RB Powertrains is set up in such a way that there is a choice: Either do everything themselves or in partnership with a manufacturer.
Porsche could come. Red Bull has set up its engine department in such a way that it is open to all options. "We can do everything ourselves or partner with a manufacturer," explains team boss Christian Horner. Red Bull has selected its staff in such a way that the combustion engine will definitely be created in Milton Keynes. But expertise in the field of the turbocharger and the battery would be welcome. This could be Porsche's territory.
It will be a few years before that happens. Red Bull has until 2026 to get its own powertrain up and running. Things are supposed to get underway from mid-2022. By then, the new drive regulations will be finalised in detail, so that the development of the engine, MGU-K, battery and power electronics can begin. By then, most of the work bans on the future Red Bull engineers will have expired.
Red Bull is fighting to be classified as a newcomer in the new engine era, which means a higher cost cap and more test bench hours. If it comes to a joint venture with Porsche, this could cause trouble. Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault have already announced that they would not accept two players developing in parallel for a while and then throwing their results together. That would have put the brakes on cost and test-bench limits.
Currently, 170 employees have already been recruited for the new company. 45 of them come from the Mercedes engine forge HPP. From Red Bull's point of view, this has the nice side effect of weakening its World Championship opponent. The majority of the staff will be occupied with the development and construction of the new drive unit. They don't have to take care of the day-to-day business yet. That will be done by Honda on behalf of the team.
Red Bull has not bought the intellectual property of the Japanese, but has acquired the right to use it. This is also because part of the IP also contains the development of Honda partner Ilmor. And that was not for sale. Since the rights remain with Honda, it is also up to the Japanese to assemble and maintain the product on behalf of others.
Whether this will continue until 2025 has not yet been decided. The contracts with Honda are reviewed year by year. Since the engines continue to be built in Honda's Sakura development centre, it is somewhat difficult to look over one's shoulder. Honda may be out of Formula 1, but they also have an interest in making sure their legacy works reliably. Especially in the first year with the new E10 fuel.
Experts already have the impression that Honda secretly regrets the exit and is keeping up the umbilical cord to Formula 1 by servicing Red Bull. The way the new engine regulations are shaping up, it would also be interesting for Honda. And with a budget cap and test bed restrictions, it is also ensured that Formula 1 will no longer be a money-destroying machine