The curious case of Porsche’s letter from Rabat

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Reports have emerged based on a letter published in Rabat, Morocco that Porsche is set to acquire a 50% stake in Red Bull, but this letter creates more questions than answers.

While the missive ultimately confirms in legalese that Porsche and Red Bull appear poised to engage, the Moroccan Competition Council’s opinion surrounding the proposed deal’s compliance with local pricing freedom and the right to competition, says nothing about what or how it will happen.

Despite the universal suggestion it spawned in the woke Formula 1 press, the document indeed only covers Porsche’s intention to acquire half of Red Bull Technologies “for the manufacture of a powertrain (group powertrain)” and perhaps more specifically, the “development and manufacture of Formula 1 Chassis”.

So, we now know that, barring late curved balls, Porsche and Red Bull are indeed very close to joining forces to build F1 power units; and now also chassis, it seems.

Is Red Bull Racing, or even part of it, for sale?

Horner: Development of Red Bull Powertrains on schedule

The document is nothing more than a legal requirement under anti-monopoly law, to ensure that such an agreement is also verified and promulgated in various places outside the European Union. That says nothing about Porsche’s intention to buy part of Red Bull Racing, the separate entity that manages and races the cars. The reason the document doesn’t mention Red Bull Racing is probably because Red Bull Racing is not for sale.

Rather, it all just reiterates ongoing speculation that Porsche will power Red Bull’s F1 teams from 2026. It also confirms, however, that Porsche will likely be involved in building Red Bull’s chassis. It is indeed an unexpected twist that suggests that Porsche’s involvement in this project extends far beyond just racing. It seems that Zufferhausen is looking for much more than competitive success and marketing for his new F1 project.

The other most intriguing twist to this story is this: how does Honda fit in, or rather, out of the deal?

Red Bull’s current Formula 1 rivals were angry at the plausibility of Red Bull and Porsche taking Honda’s now superbly sorted engine technology and trotting and developing it further. Honda’s HRC Motorsport chairman Koji Watanabe, however, has confirmed that Red Bull has not acquired Honda’s intellectual property on its F1 engine.

Red Bull’s Porsche contract has nothing to do with Honda

red bull honda livery

“They can use the intellectual property, but we haven’t sold the intellectual property to them,” the Honda president explained while taking part in the Austrian Grand Prix.

“It’s just a lease that allows them to use the Honda IP. This IP will revert to Honda when the current agreement ends in 2025,” he added.

Thus, a Red Bull Porsche collaboration would therefore be classified as a new entrant, rather than an existing manufacturer.

All Porsche’s letter from Rabat does is finally officially confirm that it and Red Bull are so close to partnering on an all-new F1 power unit project. As much as that, Honda is now seen as increasingly likely to take its units elsewhere, rather than stop when the next era of F1 begins from 2026.

Porsche and Red Bull have been courting each other for some time now. The still-delayed official announcement of the new marriage is now said to await F1’s long-awaited final ratification and confirmation of this new eco-powered hybrid future beyond 2026.

And although Porsche’s involvement now appears deeper, Rabat’s document suggests it will also be involved in future F1 chassis development, but there is no indication that Porsche will acquire a stake in Red Bull Racing.

Herbert Diess – One last hurdle cleared

The only other hurdle facing a Porsche Red Bull alliance was the recent board and chairman reshuffle and a major supporter of the new F1 contract, the sudden defection of Herbert Diess.

He was, however, replaced by Oliver Blume, a man even more rooted in F1 and motorsport. The Letter from Rabat now simply confirms that an agreement is practically signed.

Porsche has only won one Grand Prix in its own name. American Dan Gurney rode his 804 to victory in the 1962 French Grand Prix at Rouen 60 years ago.

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