Red Bull ‘open’ to continuing with Renault engines
SOCHI, Russia (AP) Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said Friday that he hopes his team will continue to race in Formula One next year and indicated it might even carry on using Renault engines.
The relationship between the four-time constructor’s champion and Renault has collapsed this year as the team seems set for its first winless season since 2008.
Without an engine supplier confirmed for next season, development work on Red Bull’s new car is hampered and the team’s owner has threatened to quit the sport altogether if he does not secure a competitive engine for next year.
Asked Friday if continuing with Renault was possible, Horner said ”everything is open.” Regarding a possible exit from the sport, he said that ”hopefully that won’t be the case.”
Horner held two lengthy meetings Friday with F1 commercial chief Bernie Ecclestone, with the first one also attended by Helmut Marko, a consultant to Red Bull and longtime advisor to billionaire owner Dietrich Mateschitz.
Ecclestone said he was confident that Red Bull would return in 2016 and that ”everything’s sorted out now” with its engine problem, although he declined to specify what any solution might entail.
Red Bull and its sister team Toro Rosso, which is also owned by Mateschitz, had been linked with a possible deal to use Ferrari engines. However, German publication Auto Motor und Sport reported Friday that Ferrari was only willing to supply Toro Rosso and not Red Bull.
If Ferrari were to supply Red Bull and Toro Rosso, it would be providing engines for five of the 11 teams on the grid next season.
Red Bull’s engineering chief Paul Monaghan said the uncertainty over the engine was starting to impact the team’s chances next year. Further delays could push Red Bull’s development cycle back far enough for it to risk missing part of pre-season testing.
”At the moment it will be a squeeze but we’ll do it,” he said. ”It’s wrong to say that anybody that runs the first test will automatically have a benefit on us. Yeah, they might, but we could cope, so however the land lies, we’ll deal with it.”
On Thursday, champion driver Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes said he found it ”really odd” that Red Bull could consider quitting F1 after having been the sport’s leading team, winning the constructors’ title each year from 2010 to 2013.