Dietrich Mateschitz the co-founder of Red Bull has said the company will make a decision by the end of October on whether themselves and their Junior team Toro Rosso will stay in Formula One.
Fed up with the reliability and performance issues they currently suffer with using the Renault power unit, Red Bull will cut ties with the engine supplier that crafted them four drivers and constructors World Championship titles back to back from 2010-2013 but they are yet to sign an agreement with any of the other three engine suppliers currently on the grid.
Honda have been the latest to confirm their stance on the situation announcing they will remain exclusive suppliers to McLaren for the 2016 season with Mercedes formally rejecting Red Bull’s proposal several weeks ago with them keen to keep their competitive advantage over the rest of field.
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This just leaves Ferrari who will be supplying both Haas and Sauber for 2016, they have offered to be the supplier to Red Bull but will not supply them a 2016 spec engine.
Ferrari want to supply Red Bull their 2015 spec engine which has been somewhat of stumbling block in the current negotiations as Red Bull are adamant they will not settle for anything less than a 2016 model.
Time is running out for this situation to be resolved with Christian Horner already saying his team are behind their build schedule for the 2016 season with it imperative they integrate the new power unit into the chassis sooner rather than later to make the most of the limited build team they have before testing for the 2016 season begins.
“We strive to get motors, but we get none – at least not the one we want,” Mateschitz told Speedweek magazine. Asked how long the team were prepared to wait for a deal, Mateschitz replied: “Sometime in late October.”
Many people believe these are just idle threats from Red Bull whereas I am of a different opinion, Red Bull are not long-term members of the pit lane nor are they car manufacturers, they use Formula One as an advertising platform so if they are not challenging at the top end of the grid week in week out it is not good publicity.
With this in mind and Mateschitz history of doing what he wants, I genuinely believe if Red Bull are not supplied the 2016 spec engine from Ferrari, and Mercedes stay strong on their stance then we could be without Toro Rosso and Red Bull for the 2016 season, a prospect I am not entirely happy about.