Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz has reiterated that his company will quit Formula 1 if his teams cannot get a competitive engine.
A difficult start to the campaign with Renault prompted Red Bull’s motorsport advisor Helmut Marko to declare at the Australian Grand Prix that Mateschitz could be ready to reconsider his involvement in grand prix racing. Speaking ahead of the Chinese Grand Prix, Mateschitz has confirmed for the first time that there are no guarantees he will remain involved in F1.
“We’ll only stay in Formula 1 if we have a competitive team, and we need a competitive power unit for that,” Mateschitz was quoted as saying by the Austria Press Agency on Thursday. “If we don’t have one, we can race with the best car and the best drivers and still have no chance of competing for victory.”
Mateschitz says that it is not just Red Bull’s future that is in doubt. but also that Renault itself should quit if it cannot make adequate progress – a possibility the French manufacturer alluded to last month.
“Of course Renault can also weigh its options, including a pull-out,” Mateschitz said. “As a manufacturer, it’s your task to deliver a competitive power unit. If you can do that, it’s great. If, for whatever reason, you can’t do that, you should pull out. Then the consequences for us would be clear, too.”
There has been speculation over the past year that Red Bull could consider building its own engine, but this was dismissed by Mateschitz at the time and he stuck to that stance in China.
“We are not a car manufacturer who could justify the investment,” he said. “So we rely on Renault to close the gap to Ferrari and, above all, Mercedes.”