Christian Horner has told Toto Wolff to focus on Mercedes rather than commenting on Red Bull business.
There has rarely been any love lost between the bosses of the Mercedes and Red Bull F1 teams, and the duo have clashed again ahead of this weekend’s Portuguese Grand Prix.
That has resulted in Wolff speculating on the future of that side of Red Bull’s business and that the Volkswagen Group will step in and play a part, leading to either Porsche or Audi to take over the running of the new power unit due to be introduced in 2025.
“For me, we can see what the strategy is and it is not stupid,” remarked Wolff on Sky Sports F1.
“Red Bull is going to attract…on one side they are keen on doing their own power unit but it is no secret that the Volkswagen group, with their two brands, is looking at Formula 1 and has been part of the discussion.
“So they [Red Bull] can decide at any moment whether they want to stick to their own power unit or go with the German manufacturer, a top manufacturer.
“On the other side, the IP arrangement with Honda really makes sense. They are taking over the IP from Honda and developing a new power unit into 2025.
“It could stay within Red Bull power units or it could go to Porsche or Audi. Overall, I think it makes sense what they are doing.”
There is what Wolff has pointed out is a historical connection between Volkswagen and Red Bull, who were partners in three consecutive Dakar Rally wins from 2009-11, and again with four titles in the World Rally Championship from 2013-16.
“It is just logical that they are going to look at that relationship with Red Bull and utilise the Honda IP and the learning,” added Wolff.
“Therefore, the Volkswagen group would enter – I say ‘would’ because in the end it shouldn’t be my business – and they will benefit from all of these relationships and intellectual property going forward.”
Horner was naturally less than enamoured with Wolff’s remarks. He said: “Toto always likes to think he knows what’s going on in other people’s businesses so perhaps he needs to think about his own!”
Horner, though, has ultimately not ruled out a potential union in the future with the Volkswagen Group, and the likelihood of a Porsche or Audi alliance.
“Look, we’re building a fantastic facility, we’ve got some great talent coming in,” said Horner. “It’s going to be on campus, it’s going to be integrated fully with the chassis side of the business.
“We’ll be the only team other than Ferrari to have that, and what the engine is called is another matter.
“At the moment, there are no discussions in place. It’s focused on being a Red Bull engine, but of course, that engine could be called anything in the future.
“But to have that integrated fully into Milton Keynes is tremendously exciting.”