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Red Bull: Christian Horner says deal with Porsche only on F1 team's terms and vows to retain 'DNA'

Red Bull and Posche have long been expected to partner up in 2026, but Christian Horner says being an independent team is "part of the DNA of who we are"; Watch the Italian GP all live on Sky Sports F1 this weekend, with Sunday's race at 2pm

Red Bull boss Christian Horner has hinted at stumbling blocks in a bumper deal with Porsche, insisting a link-up would only be agreed on the Formula 1 team's terms and that it would have to fit their racing "DNA".

Red Bull and Porsche have long been touted to partner up for 2026 to tie in with the new engine regulations - with sister Volkswagen brand Audi already confirmed to be joining F1 - and the German manufacturing giant were expected to assist with the new Red Bull Powertrains project.

But a Porsche deal is now in considerable doubt as Red Bull are determined to keep their independence, while Honda are also mooted to be considering an F1 U-turn and return to partnering the current title leaders.

"As I have consistently said, we are continuing on with Red Bull Powertrains and it is making great strides with the firing up of the first ever engine a couple of weeks ago," Horner told Sky Sports F1.

"2026 is a long way away and we are very focused on our plan on the engine we are producing and the talent that we are bringing into our team.

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Chairman of the Audi board Markus Duesmann announces that the German car company has officially registered as a power-unit manufacturer in F1.

"It is great to see Audi coming into the sport but any relationship with any manufacturer or partner would have to fit with Red Bull."

Questioned about independence, the Red Bull team principal added: "Red Bull has always been an independent team, it has been one of our strengths and it has been the backbone of what we have achieved and our ability to move quickly.

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"It is part of the DNA of who we are.

"We are not a corporately operated organisation and that is one of our strengths in how we operate as a race team and that is an absolute pre-requisite for the future.

"They need to decide whether they want to join that party if not but it would have to be within the culture of the way to go racing."

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Ferrari drivers Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc say it feels 'special' to drive for the team at Monza as they prepare for the weekend's Italian Grand Prix.

Horner hasn't completely ruled out a link-up, stating that "time will tell whether we embrace a partner into that programme" - although admitted Honda are also "making noises" about an F1 U-turn.

Honda still supplies Red Bull's engines even though it officially left F1 last year, and are believed to have expressed interest in a new project with Red Bull post-2025.

"They are making noises about 2026 but obviously our train has left the station and we have committed to the investment in Red Bull power trains.

"Circa 300 people are now working on that 2026 engine, so any agreement would need to fit with that.

"With the whole team being under one roof and the benefits of that with chassis designers sitting next to engine designers."

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