Red Bull could quit F1 and set sights on Le Mans in 2021

  • Liam Rice

The advisor of Red Bull Dr Helmut Marko has labelled a future for Red Bull in Le Mans racing as “a sensational success” as they eye up a controversial move away from F1. 

Red Bull has fallen out of favour after their glory years of 2010-13 and they have struggled to regain their winning status in F1, this decline in success has ignited a call for them to separate away from Formula One and focus on another form of racing in Le Mans, where they have identified possible success with an Aston Martin Valkyrie-based hypercar. 

The British-based team will wait until after the 2020 racing season when the current Concorde Agreement is no longer in use to make their decision as the FIA and the owner of Formula One Liberty Media look to change engine regulations.

This change is the potential deal breaker for Red Bull, however, as if they fear their competitiveness will be further reduced they will seek success elsewhere in motorsport. 

“We have an agreement to 2020. As long as there is no engine regulation and no Concorde Agreement neither Red Bull or Honda will make a decision,” Marko said, per Motorsport

Marko also made the potential avenues Red Bull could yet explore in motorsport very clear: “Stop is the option. Or do something else, other racing series.

“With the Valkyrie, Le Mans could be an option with hypercar rules. We went through it and it’s a sensational success.” 

The new hypercar rules that were discussed at the FIA’s World Motor Sport Council meeting on December 5 were confirmed shortly after, releasing news that bespoke race-bred engines and hybrid systems are acceptable to use in the race as well as production-based units. 

This was the focus for the rule makers as the concept of hypercar racing was announced in June 2018 at the 24 hours Le Mans race. 

Marko also said that the Valkyrie based-hypercar developed by Aston Martin and Red Bull was very popular concept for the race: “The cars were all sold out immediately. That’s another good pillar for Red Bull technologies.” 

Marko has also stated an alternative plan for the energy drink brand that would allow them to have a role in both motorsports: “If there was a cost cap in Formula One, we would have to cut people.  “We don’t necessarily want that.

“We could then use them in such projects [as Le Mans]. It still looks like you can run in the WEC at a reasonable cost with the base of our Valkyrie.”

However, the energy drink company has not given up on F1 yet as they will switch to a de facto Honda status instead of being a Renault engine customer from next season in a bid to challenge Mercedes and Ferrari on a more consistent basis.

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