Niki Lauda is claiming that Red Bull Racing have never formally requested that Mercedes supply them with engines for 2014.
This is despite Christian Horner telling SKY at the 2015 Singapore GP, “We officially requested for engines back at the British GP but they’ve made it quite clear that they will not supply Red Bull. It was our first option, but that was always going to be a bit of a long shot.”
Yet Lauda is adamant, claiming he spoke only “once with Dietrich Mateschitz”, on the matter. “I even went to see him and we talked,” revealed the Mercedes AMG F1 chairman.”
He adds, “In principal, I would be interest,” adding the matter fizzled out. “The came nothing. It was two or three months ago.”
Given Red Bull’s treatment of their engine supplier who has powered them to 8 Formula One world titles, it would be understandable another manufacturer of F1 power units may be wary of partnering ith them.
Christian Horner has suggested that Toto Wolff indicated to him there would be no way Mercedes AMG F1 would supply Red Bull, yet Lauda questions why Mateschitz has not revisited the issue in person. “He’s the boss, but he never gave any indication [of his interest].”
Horner was heard to mock Mercedes for avoiding proper competition from their customers, as rumours Mercedes would supply Manor F1 with power units in 2016.
Lauda confirmed to Motorsport-Total, “We now have four teams”. Yet the publication suggests, Tot Wolff says Mercedes are considering a collaboration next year with “a Renault works team”. This proposition is has apparently been approved in Stuttgart by the Mercedes board and has Dieter Zetsche’s blessing.
Sorry, but I’ve got to ask…
Is that not the front of a Lamborghini Aventador with a Mercedes badge on it in that picture?
Looks like a Merc SLR McLaren to me.
So what about those Honda guys? I hear there a lot of fun, would you consider throwing them a bone, Toto?
Merc works with Renault already, just not in F1. But not with Honda.
That sounds a bit stupid as an argument from Lauda, to be honest. Just because the Red Bull GmbH is the sole owner of Red Bull Racing, it doesn’t mean that Didi Mateschitz should go and take over all of the racing team’s contract talks.
Lauda knows nothing proper about what’s going on around him, or plays the clueless really well.
Lauda is probably the most cluefull person in F1. He’s just not showing all his cards. But Horner is making a fool of himself by talking to the press too much in a negative way and not with his (potential) engine suppliers.
At the heart of this are issues between Toto, Niki, Helmut, and Dietrich. I fully believe that Mercedes were asked about supplying Red Bull with power units for 2016 and the answer was because ultimately Toto and Niki convinced Dieter that is wasn’t a good idea.
Yes, Mercedes have an industrial relationship with Renault and yes, Red Bull have not been very nice to Renault during Renault’s years as a power unit supplier to the team. An agreement and contract terms could have between put in any new supply contract for Mercedes to supply Red Bull with power units for 2016.
Mercedes are scared because with an Adrian Newey inspired chassis and a Mercedes power unit, the Mercedes works team would have some competition. Deep down, they don’t want serious competition because it would be a threat to their championship aspirations and their financial bottom line.
If the Red Bull and Toro Rosso cars leave the Formula 1 grid, that’s a loss of 4 cars and jobs at both factories. The Formula 1 grid is fragile numbers wise already and it can’t afford to lose 4 cars when it’s only gaining 2 Haas cars in 2016.
Luckily, Ferrari put the sport of Formula 1 before the team’s interests so that Red Bull and Toro Rosso can stay on the grid. Mercedes only think of themselves.
I also think that Mercedes will also lose at Suzuka so the championship battle tightens up a bit and it drives up the value of Formula 1 so it can be bought at some point. The Ferrari IPO in October isn’t a conscience.
So do you really think Ferrari is going to give Red Bull the same unit they’ve got in the back of their car? Wake up and get real.
This is sport not help the needy. If Ferrari’s really putting the sport before themselves, then why don’t they offer to scrap or reduce their historical payments, so that the smaller teams get a bigger share of the pie?
I don’t know what competitive sporting competition whereby people invest millions to win, will then turn around and give one of their closest competitors arguably their biggest advantage.
I find it hard to take any Mercedes losing on purpose conspiracy theories seriously. Especially from someone who thinks Ferrari have a “conscience”!
@Guy: I meant that the Ferrari IPO in October is no coincidence. Mercedes losing two GPs would tighten the standings and could be used as a way to try and stimulate interest in the remaining GPs.
“Toto Wolff says Mercedes are considering a collaboration next year with “a Renault works team”.”
Maybe I’m missing the obvious here, but could it be that Renault want to keep Mercedes engines for the first year after they buy Lotus and go away and completely redesign their own engine? I’d guess if no-one is running it then they have more freedom to change things?
That is exactly how I read this.
Is there another way to understand it? To be honest I didn’t get most of the article.
How about ‘Redbull Alfa Romeo’ or ‘Redbull Maserati’ using a re-badged Ferrari power unit??
Mercedes interested in supplying engines to X team = Mercedes see X team as no competition.
Some of you guys are really dilusional.
Has someone high up in the halls of F1 power simply decided RedBull need to go? There seems to be a lot of ‘who shot John’ as in lots of words to say very very little indeed. But RedBull seem to be everybody’s ‘kicking can’ at the moment, maybe everyone is sick of them being what appears to be sore losers, they have certainly hung Renault out to dry, perhaps with the big corporate collaboration between Mercedes and Renault these days, its a bit of rough justice being handed back to RedBull as a ‘thank you’ from their disgruntled engine partners.
Have you heard their latest comments?
They’re now basically saying that if they aren’t provided the same spec power units as Seb and Kimi, then they’ll definitely pack up and leave.
Red Bull’s effectively holding the sport and Ferrari to ransom, it’s either comply with our demands or we pull the plug.
With this tactic, if they do indeed leave, they’ll use the “well no one wanted to give us a competitive power unit”
And they wonder why no one really wants to play ball with them
Red Bull is the most important team in F1 ATM. Outside of this engine crisis (to which they havent helped themselves) they are the benchmark team and should be the type of team Ferrari/Mclaren aspire to be. Merc is performing well, but they dont own 2 teams, havent funded their own F1 event, etc.
Red Bull is playing a dangerous game with their recent rhetoric but lets all be honest, we have no clue whats really going on. Taking press releases at face value is naive at best, stupid at worst. The only thing you should assume when you read press releases, is that its a bold lie and the complete opposite is most likely the real truth.
While I agree with your analysis, isn’t the FIA slightly complicit here?
The rules were intended to stipulate that each manufacturer one had one engine homologated at any one time so – other than a few software tweaks – it wouldn’t be possible to supply a massively inferior engine to a customer.
We all know what happened there…
They really are going about this the wrong way though. The way things are looking unless they build their own they are going to be running customer engines for the next 3 or 4 seasons.
I’ll go back to what I said a few weeks back – I can see Renault buying up Red Bull once they have burned all their bridges and have nowhere else to turn. Why buy Lotus when you can get a team with a much better chassis and much larger retention payments?
I am under no illusion that Ferrari will give Red Bull and Toro Rosso the same spec power unit that the works team has. Red Bull and Toro Rosso would probably get a 2015 power unit.
Ferrari, Mercedes, Renault, and Honda are allowed to keep the cutting edge technology for themselves. Between the lack of power units suppliers and the costs, pretty soon it’s going to get to the point where Mercedes and Ferrari are the only ones racing because the others have left for one reason or another.
Just the fact that Ferrari are stepping forward with the offer in order to keep Red Bull and Toro Rosso on the grid which is very important given the number of cars on the grid.
Red Bull can hold the sport and Ferrari at ransom with their demands because Bernie has not done his job well enough in order to ensure that the grid is healthy enough for the sport to continue.
As I said before, Mercedes will lose both Singapore (which they did lose) and Suzuka in order to tighten the standings up in an attempt to drive up Formula 1’s value. Ferrari’s IPO in October is no coincidence. One of the parties involved in Formula 1 is getting ready to sell part or all of their interest.
Wouldn’t it be something if Red Bull pulls out of the sport and buys an interest in the sport itself? Many people don’t like what Dietrich M. has done in other sports but if he got rid of Bernie and put Christian Horner or Ross Brawn in Bernie’s place. I think Ross Brawn is a good choice. He’s been around the sport for many years and understands it. It’s a shame that Toto is slowly ruining every thing that Ross built at Mercedes. How Toto didn’t know that the information/figures he was asked about at the Singapore press conference were public information. The leadership situation at Mercedes is turning comical and it’s sad to watch.