In the midst of its messy divorce from Renault, and having been denied an engine supply by Mercedes, the Austrian team (and its sister’s) only hope appears to be Ferrari.
The French manufacturer, which is splitting with Red Bull at the end of 2015, initially planned to introduce an update for F1’s Russian Grand Prix.
“Renault couldn’t provide us with an engine that enabled us to run at the front”.
It is now known that the energy drink stable, also including the junior team Toro Rosso, is splitting with Renault after the Abu Dhabi finale in November. He feels a auto will only work when the aero package compliments the engine package.
Ecclestone has confirmed initially brokering an agreement between Ferrari and Red Bull, although Marchionne has expressed the same concerns about doing so as did his counterpart at Daimler, Dieter Zetsche.
“Red Bull doesn’t want to have customer engines that have 30 to 40 hp less and can be manipulated by the constructor in case of the customer team endangering the works team”.
It then quotes Mateschitz as saying: “As a customer team you will only get an engine that is good enough to take away points from their immediate rivals”.
“It has got a good mix of high drag sensitivity, high engine power sensitivity and high speed corners as well”. With such a customer engine we will never be world champion again.
Without Red Bull’s support, Formula One faces the abyss.
Red Bull is reportedly in negotiations with German carmaker Audi over a takeover bid, though it seems to be hedging its bets on a deal with a brand that’s repeatedly snubbed Formula One in favour of its successful sports vehicle program.
Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat have both exceeded their engine allocations which means penalties will need to be taken when Red Bull chooses to fit the upgraded power units.
Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz – who is prepared to pull his two teams out of F1 if they can not get competitive engines – revealed at the weekend talks with Ferrari have so far been “positive and encouraging”.
Team principal Christian Horner told Press Association Sport in Singapore that the threat of Red Bull withdrawing from Formula One should not be “underestimated”.