The world of Formula One racing is about to experience a major shake-up as new suppliers are welcomed into the sport with special arrangements in 2026. As part of the agreement, new manufacturers like Audi will receive extra spending power and additional dyno time, giving them a significant advantage over established suppliers. However, not all new entrants are created equal.
Red Bull Powertrains, the new company with links to Honda, is facing opposition from rivals, most notably Ferrari, who question its status as a new supplier. Despite Red Bull boss Christian Horner’s insistence that RBP is a separate entity with minimal links to Honda, the company’s prior experience with battery packs for the existing Honda engine has led to doubts about its newcomer status.
Under the 2026 regulations, suppliers are divided into three categories for financial, sporting, and technical regulations, with weightings for infrastructure, internal combustion engine (ICE) status, and energy recovery system (ERS) status. The FIA will determine the new status based on the manufacturer’s prior experience, possession of intellectual property, and documentation.
Unfortunately for Red Bull Powertrains, the company will not receive full new supplier status and will miss out on an extra $1m spending allowance in 2023 and 2024, and $500,000 in 2025, as well as $1.5m in capital expenditure benefits over those seasons. Despite this setback, the company’s 70% score in the sporting and technical regulations still meets the criteria for full new supplier rights.
The stage is set for a thrilling race to the top as new and established suppliers compete for F1 dominance. Will Red Bull Powertrains overcome the challenges and emerge as a contender, or will it fall short in the face of fierce competition? The world of F1 racing is about to get a whole lot more dramatic.