Red Bull warn that F1 quit threat is serious

Source:Reuters Published: 2015-9-23 23:43:01

Owner will choose to withdraw if they don’t have top-level engine

Red Bull are serious about pulling both their teams out of Formula One if they cannot obtain a competitive engine for 2016, their motorsport consultant Helmut Marko said Wednesday.

The Austrian, who is close to the ­energy drink company's billionaire ­owner Dietrich Mateschitz, told the official F1 website that the prospect could not be ruled out.

"There is an option to stop F1. That is a scenario. If we don't have an engine that allows us to compete at the very front we will prefer to stop," declared the former Grand Prix racer.

"If we don't have a competitive engine there is no future in F1 for Red Bull Racing. The curtain may go down after [the season-ender in] Abu Dhabi. That is Mr Mateschitz's opinion.

"He knows that it costs the same amount of money to race at the front or, like we are now doing, in the 'premium midfield' - and he is not willing to do that for another season."

Red Bull have Australian Daniel ­Ricciardo and Russian Daniil Kvyat as their drivers while sister team Toro Rosso have the exciting young pairing of Dutch teenager Max Verstappen and Spaniard Carlos Sainz.

Mateschitz has already said the fractured partnership with Renault, who powered Red Bull Racing to four successive drivers' and constructors' championships from 2010, will not continue next year.

Red Bull have failed to persuade champions Mercedes to supply them while Honda, returning this year with McLaren, have the least competitive ­engine of all.

While there has been speculation that Volkswagen-owned Audi could ­eventually take over Red Bull's team, leaving the energy drink company as sponsor, that is not a short-term solution.

"I don't think that they [Audi/Volkswagen] have a ready engine concept in their drawers," commented Marko.

"Yes, the rumors are there - and, of course, it would be great if ­another ­engine manufacturer would join.

But right now that is all crystal ball reading."

That leaves Ferrari, and Marko said they had discussed the situation but a deal had yet to be agreed and Red Bull wanted a similar engine to the one used by the Italian team rather than anything less powerful.

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