McLaren F1 has been in contact with Red Bull F1 regarding a new engine contract for 2026. Christian Horner also revealed that McLaren, led by Zak Brown, has been in contact with Red Bull.
Christian Horner clarifies that while it is confirmed that both teams held discussions, it had nothing whatsoever to do with Rob Marshall leaving Red Bull for the papaya colored team. Marshall’s deal with McLaren will take effect on January 1, next year. He is currently working at Red Bull.
Honda will be partnering with Silverstone’s Aston Martin F1 Team in 2026. McLaren, on the other hand, is still looking for a new engine. McLaren currently uses Mercedes engines. However, this could change in the near future if McLaren is able to reach an agreement with Red Bull using Ford’s brand name.
McLaren will need to find an engine that is capable of delivering the performance it needs in 2026. McLaren is slipping in this year’s Constructors championship, and after eight rounds the team has fallen to sixth place behind the Alpine F1 Team.
McLaren requires a reliable partner to progress in F1
McLaren’s current engine agreement with Mercedes has been a mixed bag, with both ups and downsides. They desperately need a reliable partner for 2026. Red Bull’s powertrains may be the solution they need. Christian Horner said that 2026 would not be a deal for McLaren. “Marshall does not walk away with an engine deal, but we have had two teams contact us about the 2026 engines.”
Our plan is to supply engines for two teams in the first season, because we don’t want to put too much emphasis on the department. “Our plan at the moment is to supply engines to two teams, as we want to stress too much department, at least in the first year.”
McLaren F1 was once considered a major force in F1’s midfield, but it has suffered a massive fall during this current campaign. Would a 2026 engine agreement with Red Bull be beneficial to McLare F1 given the current dire state of the Woking-based squad?