Fiat and Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne suggested today that the Italian team would be willing to supply engines to Red Bull Racing, if it was asked to do so.
RBR last used Ferrari engines in 2006, before passing the supply on to Toro Rosso, and going with Renault.
“It’s in our DNA, we’ve done it before,” said Marchionne. “I think we can provide engines to any of the teams that want to race. As long as we keep control over the aerodynamic work on the car, I think there’s going to be enough distinguishing traits between us and the competition. We are more than glad to try and provide a level playing field, now that the engine is there.
“I talk to everybody. And I have a lot of respect for Red Bull. I think they’ve done a lot for the sport, they’ve had the world championship for a number of years. I think they will find their way again and if we can help them get there, we’d be more than glad to do it.”
Red Bull’s disatisfaction with Renault is well known, but its options are limited. While it doesn’t want to be another manufacturer’s second-strong team, Ferrari may ultimately be its only alternative, as historically the company does not have a good relationship with Mercedes.
However, RBR boss Christian Horner was keen to downplay the possibility of any such deal happening.
“It’s very generous of Sergio to make an offer,” he told this writer. “Obviously we would have to look at the details of it. I appreciate his generosity. I’m assuming it would be free of course! First of all we’ve got to sort out our own issues. We’ve got a contract with Renault to the end of next year, so let’s see what they can come up with.”