Zak Brown feels the step by Red Bull with regards to developing their powertrain is brave and risky, but something which McLaren won’t do it.
Having had the issues with Renault and Honda leaving F1, Red Bull has stepped up their game, by announcing its plans to develop its own powertrain in future, especially from 2025 onward, when the new FIA regulations kicks-in.
In fact, already from 2022 onward, Red Bull will have its own team working on the engines taken from Honda at Milton Keynes. They have hired several key people from Mercedes HPP, but Toto Wolff remains calm about the situation.
For McLaren’s Brown, he reckons the step from Red Bull is quite brave, but with risks. The American added that, this was also made possible due to the development freeze and the team having bought the IP from Honda to use its engine.
“I think their decision is very, very brave,” said Brown, when asked by FormulaRapida.net. “I think it definitely could be successful. Red Bull is a great racing organisation with lots of resources. But I think had the engine freeze not taken place, I’m not sure they would have taken on the project, because it would just require tonnes of continued development resources that would probably push that over the edge of being fiscally feasible.
“So I think it was good that we got to a place where the rules are slowing down the spend. It’s not without risks. I think bringing on an organisation like that, with hundreds of employees, you know, that’s a lot of work to add to your plate. That being said, they appear to be hiring some very talented people,” summed up Brown.
When pressed on to know if McLaren will ever think of such a step being an independent constructor themselves, Brown ruled out that possibility. “Because of the way they were able to take over an existing engine and lots of IP and infrastructure, that’s made it much more cost effective than starting from scratch,” he said.
“I don’t see McLaren doing engines anytime soon, because I don’t think Red Bull would have moved into the engine space had this opportunity to take off where Honda left off, presented itself,” summed up Brown, who seems content with McLaren’s re-unification with Mercedes from this year onward.
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