Red Bull engine supply saga “critical” as Ferrari offers 2015 engines

Red Bull’s engine supply situation has reached a “critical” stage according to team boss Christian Horner.

With Mercedes having already turned down an approach from Red Bull it’s now clear that Ferrari is now only offering 2015 engines, as opposed to the 2016 customer units that will be supplied to Haas and Sauber.

Matters are further complicated by the fact that Toro Rosso also requires an engine, and due to its lower level of resources the Italian team needs to finalise the design of its 2016 contender at an earlier stage.

The current situation is quite critical, because as we sit here, we don’t have an engine,” said Horner. “The important thing for us is to have a first class engine. First of all we need to conclude our situation with our current supplier. But I think Dietrich [Mateschitz] has made the situation very clear.

Regarding the deadline he said: “We are already late, already very late. It was already difficult two weeks ago, so we’re very, very late.

Toro Rosso are in a similar situation. Their timing is more critical than Red Bull Racing, even.”

Horner has suggested that Red Bull Racing’s staff would do something else if it pulls out of F1.

Then we’re in a position where we can’t compete. Then for sure we’ll have to look at other activities. Milton Keynes is full of a lot of talent, and we would have to look at where we apply that talent.”


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25 responses to “Red Bull engine supply saga “critical” as Ferrari offers 2015 engines

  1. DaveM

    Sorry, Christian, but you only have yourselves to blame for this mess.

  2. Mean, why not keep Renault powère 4 2016? They should be more competitive than 2015 Farrari P Yous.

  3. Don Davis

    Life is a bitch when you burn your bridges before you have a lifeline!

  4. Mick

    If Red Bull pull out do they forfeit prize money & contractual payments from this year? Would possibly be welcome if other teams were funded to run a third car. Honda in particular might be happy to get extra mileage without supplying a second team.

  5. Richard K

    As far as I understand, when they signed the new concorde agreement they agreed to stay in the sport until 2020 and would have to pay a fine of $100m for every year they miss if they pull out earlier than this.

    • GeorgeK

      You can try and prove they owe 100 Million per year, quite another to collect it. Especially when they document a lack of engines. Only the lawyers will make out on this kind of FIAsco.

      • “Especially when they document a lack of engines”

        They can’t. They have been offered an engine by Ferrari. It may not be the 2016 spec they want, but they do have that option, so it is their choice to pull out and break the contract.

  6. Hezla

    It would be very sad if F1 loose 2 teams with 4 very talented drivers.
    But Horner and co. only can only blame themselves for this situation.

  7. Robert McKay

    I can perfectly well understand the reasons why Mercedes and Ferrari don’t want to give a very big rival an equal engine, and I have very little sympathy for Red Bull and their “toys out of the pram” attitude.

    Even with that, though, I do think we’re in a situation where the sport is being too distorted and manipulated because we have so few competitive engine manufacturers, and the sport needs to find a way to address that pronto.

    It’s a very strong conflict of interest to supply such a major component to your rivals and a very big political weapon.

    • I think the real problem with Formula 1 presently is the lack of testing and the lack of freedom for teams. Formula one should be about creativity. The present restrictions on engine development and testing during the season are making both Renault and Honda look stupid.Not something their shareholders will put up with indefinitily.

  8. Peterg

    I’m finding it difficult to feel empathy for Red Bull’s management. 4 WC’s on the trot with Renault, followed by one poor season with Renault and they throw a very public tantrum.

    Regarding their current situation and concerns about next year, they have basically shot themselves in both feet. I’m astonished that this 2016 problem is almost entirely self inflicted..

  9. Kevin P Robinson

    If I were running Ferrari or Mercedes, I probably wouldn’t want to supply Red Bull either, but not for competition reasons. As many point out, look how quickly they turn on their engine supplier when things don’t go well. If, and that’s a big IF, I did a deal, there would be so many penalty clauses for each ill word spoken about the engine in the media by ANYONE.

    Having said all that, I don’t want to see Red Bull and Toro Rosso leave F1. I would love to see their attitude leave, but not the teams. How about Bernie convince Ferrari to buy Toro Rosso and Honda to buy Red Bull so each manufacturer gets a second team and we get rid of the tossers running Red Bull?

  10. ACx

    “First of all we need to conclude our situation with our current supplier.”

    Wow. So, they bleat on about not being given a new engine, as some sort of god given right, but have not concluded their relationship with Renault yet? Obviously he who must be obeyed will coerce either Merc or Ferrari in to letting them have their engines, but boy are RBR total jerks.

    I dont understand why any one, let alone Bernie, wants them in F1. Lets face it, who ever Bernie gets to give them engines is going to be owed big time. With RBR its a no win, you either lose against them on the track making you look foolish, or you beat them and they cry foul. There will be a price to pay. I want Bernie over a significant barrel.

  11. powersteer

    It’s not unfair to receive a 2nd line engine.

    For eg:
    RBR has a total budget of $250 million
    Ferrari has a total budget of $250 million

    Ferrari may have to spend $80 million on its engine program.
    RBR as a customer, only willing to pay $ 25 million for its engine.

    Assuming Ferrari has no other customers, it has 250 – 80 left to run the race team and develop the chassis.

    RBR has 250 – 25 left to run the race team and develop the chassis.

    This will give RBR an advantage over Ferrari.

  12. kcrossle

    Attempting the spelling. How is it… “schadenfreude”?

  13. They actually HAVE an engine to race, as Renault told they are willing to comply with the contract which expires in 2016. So Marko is playing the cards, not Ferrari

  14. GeorgeK

    @ drmouse81; Not as simple as that, with Renault buying out Lotus RB can claim they no longer have a factory backed engine. Even a Mercedes engine would not have made them a factory supplied team.

    They can claim they are not committed to F1 without a factory engine and relegation to a customer engine MIGHT give them a way out. Which is why the lawyers will get fatter on this issue.

    I have to wonder if this was Matschetz’s strategy all along, with Lauda saying they never were approached by RB for an engine deal, beyond casual conversation.

    • powersteer

      If they want a factory engine, build one themselves! It’s not like they have no money, but they wanna maintain an advantage over others.

      • GeorgeK

        Now that has to be the most naive comment in this discussion.

        Red Bull have put their own as in this crack but it takes more than cash to build the current F1 spec power unit. Which is why no one is chasing Cosworth to get back in the game.

  15. Danny

    yes, so much talent, so build your own engine!!!

    • Peterg

      Danny, sorry buddy building their own engine is not even an option. Not only is prohibitively expensive, it’s not their field of expertise.

      Further, look at the teething problems Honda is having with this new generation of PU’s. And Honda’s resources and budget are not exactly week. RB should never have shot themselves in both feet with the Renault blame game they started.

  16. Stu B

    Christian Horner would never be hired by a real company making business decisions the way he does. Bye Bye soft drink company. Now lets get some teams that are auto centric in either product or history and let the racing begin again with new teams . F1 always goes through times of growth and retreat and now it is time for less teams. At least McLaren has a chance of finishing in the top 15 now.

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