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Irish Mirror
Irish Mirror
Daniel Moxon

McLaren 2026 F1 engine talks with Red Bull confirmed as Christian Horner gives update

Christian Horner said it is "only natural" that other teams are interested in Red Bull power units as he confirmed talks with McLaren over a potential partnership.

Red Bull have invested a lot of time and resource into their new Powertrains division. They began the process of building their own engines after Honda announced their intention to pull out of Formula 1 – a decision the Japanese carmaker now appears to be reconsidering.

It means from 2026, Red Bull will be among the six power unit constructors who have signed up for the new era of regulations. That gives those team which do not create their own engines plenty of options.

McLaren is one of those customer teams. The Woking-based outfit currently get their engines from Mercedes, but have not yet made any commitments beyond that 2026 rule change and appear to be assessing their options.

Last month it was reported that McLaren have been in contact with their former suppliers Honda, who have also signed up to the regulations. Meanwhile, chief executive Zak Brown was also spotted visiting the Red Bull base in Milton Keynes.

Questioned about hosting the American, Horner confirmed that there have been discussions about potentially supplying power units to McLaren. He told reporters it was "only natural" that it such talks would occur, after joking: "I thought he was coming for lunch!"

McLaren's Zak Brown recently visited Red Bull's factory to discuss the prospect (Getty Images)

Horner added: "As a power unit manufacturer for 2026, it's obvious that discussions are going to be held regarding potential powertrain supplies and that's only natural that we would speak with potential customers."

McLaren team principal Andrea Stella was in the same press conference, and also confirmed that his team is considering all the options available from 2026. "We have a solid partnership with HPP [Mercedes High Performance Powertrains]," he declared.

But then the Italian added: "At the same time, it's obvious that looking far forward you want to understand what's available. I think that's natural. It shouldn't be too much of a surprise."

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