Formula 1 is expanding its reach exponentially since Liberty Media bought the commercial rights to the sport from CVC Capital and Bernie Ecclestone. Ecclestone took the sport from being penniless and running on an abandoned airfield to an £8billion valuation. However, Bernie’s philosophy was to restrict access to F1 and therefore make it an exclusive product. Liberty Media takes a different approach.
Gone are the days when websites like F1fanatic were threatened with legal action for brand name abuse and Youtube channels promoting F1 racing clips are now positively promoted. Liberty realizes that social media is free publicity and attracts a new, young audience to the sport.
TV ratings have increased significantly this season following new rule changes which allow cars to follow more closely and overtake more easily, although Mercedes F1 is keen to roll back ground force design regulations as the design of their car is not competitive.
The next big rule change is coming for the 2026 season, where the current oversized cars and their huge Dreadnoughtous dinosaur engines will be replaced by a new generation of power units.
Current F1 cars are almost 50% heavier than their late 1990s predecessors and are 5 meters long and 2 meters wide.
This means overtaking is more difficult and even the handling of the car requires sophisticated space-age tools for the drivers to manage.
However, 2026 is a new dawn. The FIA is committed to smaller cars and smaller power units and a new generation of automakers is very interested in joining the sport.
VAG Group brand Audi is said to be close to an agreement to buy 75% of the Swiss company Sauber [Alfa Romeo] and given F1’s new-found popularity, back-of-the-grid team prices are no less than £1bn.
For nearly a decade, Mercedes has cut its print advertising spend and invested it to win it all in F1. This turned out to be a much better return for their auto sales than running Merc ads around the world. Filling the back pages of all sorts of planet earth publications with Mercedes F1 stories was a huge win for the company.
Porsche was rumored to be ready to announce an F1 partnership with Red Bull and an announcement was expected at the Austrian GP. However, many other deadlines for Audi and Porsche announcing their participation have passed due to regulations for 2026 still not being agreed.
Yet Germany Motorsport-Total.com It was today that documents emerged suggesting that the deal between Porsche and Red Bull is in fact done.
However, Germany’s Motorsport-Total has obtained documents which appear to suggest the deal is done. He reveals that there will be a merger between Porsche and Red Bull Advanced Technologies and the split will be 50-50.
Due to EU antitrust and anti-competition regulations, this agreement has been finalized. Motorsport-Total reveals that details of Porsche’s planned entry in 2026 are confirmed in a document issued by Morocco’s Competition Council – and, ironically filed on the Friday of the Austrian GP weekend – which details the Porsche’s intention to acquire 50% of Red Bull Technology Ltd, the objective being the development and production of a power unit for the Austrian team.
But what did Porsche buy 50% of? The Racing team? It seems not. The website reveals;
“Red Bull Advanced Technologies was created in the relentless heat of Formula 1 competition as a high performance engineering and sister company to Red Bull Racing. Red Bull Advanced Technologies brings its exceptional engineering, design, technology, simulation and production to an extremely diverse set of industries, helping to create a better and smarter future.
The same tools, techniques and methods used to win the development race that is F1 are applied to engineering challenges on land, sea and air at a breakneck pace.
From Hypercars to hydrogen race cars and everything in between, including challenges as diverse as bikes, balloons and sailboats, with Red Bull Advanced Technologies the possibilities are limitless.
It’s interesting that Porsche has embraced such a wide range of technology activities, but the real question is who will build the engines for RBR from 2026.
The deal is that Porsche will help in new Red Bull powertrains which have taken over the intellectual property of Honda, their former power unit supplier. Alpha Tauri will use the same engines.
So Porsche will not actually own 50% of Red Bull Racing but will partner with them at a high level, even above F1, in a race to develop technologies even beyond racing car applications. road.
The collaborative effort between Red Bull and Porsche goes well beyond road car technology and could even impact power generation capabilities such as hydrogen.
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