Formula 1

F1 could lose major player after 2020 depending on engine rules

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Red Bull motorsport consultant Helmut Marko says his team will be forced to quit Formula One in 2021 if the engine rule changes aren’t amended.

Last month, the FIA (Federation Internationale de l’Automobile), along with manufacturers both in F1 and not currently involved, agreed that the current turbocharged V6 power unit format should be replaced by cheaper, simpler, and noisier engines from 2021.

Speaking in an interview with the official F1 website, Marko suggested that the changes should be revised and that the championship’s new owner Liberty Media must amend the rules to include a non-manufacturer engine option within the rules package, in order to entice Red Bull to stay.

"The latest must be 2021 that an independent engine supplier comes into F1," Marko said.

"This is more than necessary, and the engine has to be simple, noisy and on the cost side below 10 million.

"We are talking about a much less sophisticated engine than what we have now, a simple racing engine.

"There are enough companies around that could supply.

“So we expect from the new owners together with the FIA to find a solution at the latest by the end of this season.

“If that doesn’t happen our stay in F1 is not secured.”

The company’s two F1 teams, Red Bull Racing and Toro Rosso, are both current customers of Renault.

Red Bull started the decade with engine partners Renault in dominant fashion, winning both the Constructors' championship and the Drivers' championship four years on the trot with Sebastian Vettel at the helm.

However, during the early years of the hybrid engine formula, Renault’s reputation for supplying unreliable engines with poor performance brought the relationship between them and Red Bull to breaking point.

The drinks firm briefly flirted with the idea of switching engine suppliers during 2015 but eventually agreed to extend their deal with Renault, whereby the engines would be badged by TAG Heuer.

F1 engine supplies have been exclusively provided by major car manufacturers since Marussia dropped Cosworth in favour of Ferrari at the end of 2013 ahead of the following season's rule changes.

Red Bull, like the other nine teams in F1, are currently signed up to the championship until 2020, but whether they will stay beyond that is, at the moment, anyone’s guess.

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Formula 1
Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen

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