(Motorsport-Total.com) – Mercedes rules out equipping Red Bull with engines after Honda withdraws after the 2021 Formula 1 season. Both Red Bull Racing and its sister team AlphaTauri are once again without an engine supplier.
Both teams need a new engine partner for the Formula 1 season in 2022, but the selection will be smaller, as there will only be three engine suppliers from that year. Red Bull has a partner in Renault who would be open to deliveries (according to the regulations), but Cyril Abiteboul doubts that this would be Plan A for Red Bull.
Mercedes, on the other hand, rules out supplying Red Bull as a customer team. Their sports director Toto Wolff names “several reasons”.
“The main reason is that we are already equipping four teams, including ourselves,” says the 48-year-old. “We have almost reached the point where we no longer have any free capacity to manufacture drive units for all of us.”
“But I also have no doubt that Helmut [Marko] will come up with a plan B, as he said. He probably doesn’t depend on any of the current engine suppliers. “
Red Bull team boss Christian Horner says that Wolff has “made it clear that Mercedes is not particularly interested in providing engines”, which means that the team is “dependent on two current suppliers in Formula 1”.
But he also says that Red Bull “will take the time to initiate the necessary investigations with due care”.
Ferrari is still thinking
Mercedes was already in talks with Red Bull when the team tried to part ways with Renault in 2015. At that time, the board of directors thwarted the bill. This led to the fabulous situation that Red Bull was left without an engine partner until a few months before the start of the 2016 season.
There were also talks with Ferrari at the time, but the Italians honestly said that a delivery would be dangerous for their own competitiveness. According to current team boss Mattia Binotto, Ferrari is currently not thinking about a delivery and would only do so if asked.
“Now we have to consider something that wasn’t an issue a few days ago.”
“It’s something we have to think about from now on. We haven’t decided anything yet,” said the Italian. “I think that will depend on whether Red Bull will come up to us and ask for engines. They are undoubtedly a great team. Equipping them with engines should take a lot of energy.”
But he warns that there is not as much time leeway as it seems: “There is very little time because we have to position ourselves accordingly. 2022 is coming relatively soon.” He means that the development of the completely new cars for 2022 will start very soon. Engines and cars must be coordinated accordingly.
“As we said before, the news of the Honda withdrawal came pretty suddenly,” continued Binotto. “Now we have to consider something that wasn’t an issue a few days ago. But we have to deal with it and take the time to make a decision.”