After moving from Honda engines, Red Bull built their own engine department called the Red Bull Powertrain Division. They still work with the Japanese engines, but have full control over the units.
“We have now also found a completely different solution to the one originally envisaged,” Helmut Marko, Red Bull’s motorsport advisor, told Autorevue magazine earlier this year. “The engines will be manufactured in Japan until 2025, we will not touch them at all.”
But judging from this season’s performance so far, it seems as though there could be issues with the power unit with Max Verstappen, Sergio Perez, Yuki Tsunoda, and Pierre Gasly all having issues stemming from the engine.
Both Verstappen and Perez suffered from complete loss of power during the Bahrain Grand Prix, and Tsunoda lost power moments before the start of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. This, according to Horner, is a concern for the team.
“Of course, we’re concerned about it but I think first we have to understand what it is,” he said.
“I think once all the strip-down has been done and we understand what the issue is then, hopefully, fixes can be put in place.”
The issue with the two Red Bulls which forced the drivers to retire from the Bahrain GP early was reported to be an issue caused by a vacuum in the fuel system. Whether this is showing its head because of the new E10 fuel is unknown, but the team had it fixed for the race at Jeddah.
The issue with the AlphaTauri however is still unknown. Team chief Franz Tost said the following:
“We don’t know yet whether we can use this engine or not [again] or what is exactly broken.
“We have to investigate. I want to find out the reason why we are struggling with reliability, because Red Bull aren’t having any problems.”
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen won the Bahrain Grand Prix with teammate Sergio Perez placing fourth behind the two Ferraris. AlphaTauri has only collected 8 points so far this year.