Ferrari has offered to supply the struggling Red Bull team with engines. Following a shock round of speculation, the energy drink company’s Dr Helmut Marko has now confirmed the news, even though his boss Dietrich Mateschitz played down the prospect of becoming a mere ‘customer’ team.
“It is true that we received an offer from Sergio Marchionne in Canada,” Marko told the Austrian newspaper Kleine Zeitung. The story indicates Red Bull’s level of frustration with its situation in ‘works’ alliance with Renault, who have struggled not only with reliability but also performance in 2015. At its home race at the Red Bull Ring this week, both Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat will start from the back of the grid because they have already burned through their allocation of four ‘power units’ for the whole season.
“We don’t want to, we have to,” fumed Marko when asked about the strategic choice of taking the penalties at home in Austria. As for what Red Bull will decide to do in the future, however, it is still not clear, but team boss Christian Horner said it is obvious that “one element is missing” from the team’s F1 package at present. Indeed, the Red Bull-Renault relationship appears terminally broken, with Renault’s Cyril Abiteboul last week urging his colleagues to ease their constant verbal attacks.
“The bottom line is that they (Renault) are just as frustrated as we are,” Horner told Austria’s Laola1. But what about the Ferrari rumours? Horner insists Red Bull “will always have options”. But is becoming a mere customer of an arch-rival among them? “At the moment, no,” Horner said. “We are fully committed to solving the problems with Renault. That is our focus.”