When Red Bull were looking for a new engine partner, the thought of a Mercedes or Ferrari power unit supply seemed logical given their performance advantage. The issue was, Red Bull’s chassis advantage.
When the team were told that neither Ferrari nor Mercedes would be interested in supplying engines for 2016, the excuses were all centered around supply and demand, resources and over commitment types of reasons. We heard the popular refrain of, “oh, we couldn’t possibly supply one more team…we just don’t have the resources”.
Meanwhile, Red Bull were being called arrogant for suggesting that Mercedes and Ferrari were scared to supply current engines as they knew they might be beat with their own engine given the team’s ability to design a chassis.
As it turns out, that’s exactly what the issue was even though no one was saying it from Ferrari or Mercedes. As AUTOSPORT reveals, Ferrari’s CEO, Sergio Marchionne, has the candidness to actually say it:
“We had to cope with some uncertainties of our own architecture and we had to bridge the technological gap,” said Marchionne.
“So committing to providing an equivalent power unit to a team that has a chassis design technical ability to compete could have been dangerous to Ferrari’s competitiveness.
“My main commitment is to support and protect Ferrari. I’m not interested in defeating Mercedes with Red Bull.
“If someone says let’s use Ferrari’s engine so we can defeat Mercedes, I’m not interested in that argument. I want Ferrari to win.
“We know Red Bull’s abilities are good, they destroyed us with Sebastian Vettel and the championships they won.”
Mercedes may be hanging on to their excuse as to why they wouldn’t supply Red Bull with power units but at least Ferrari are now being up front with the matter.
I get the point. Why would you want to supply a team with your engine only to be possibly beaten by that team with your engine. It’s an odd proposition and with Ferrari being one of the strongest brands in the world, they don’t need the marketing of a Red Bull/Ferrari beating a Mercedes.
As for Mercedes, they also have a strong brand and may not need the marketing of a Red Bull/Mercedes beating a Mercedes. It’s a tough situation but Red Bull say they have an eye on 2017 and a possible engine supply that will allow them to compete.
Hat Tip: AUTOSPORT