If Red Bull exit F1, Pirelli may also

My apologies if this sounds crass but for those fans who say that Red Bull Racing are whiners and to not the let the door hit them in the arse on their way out, they confuse me.

I get your frustration with the team and their 4-time title success and perhaps you don’t like the whining etc. I understand but there is a completely different side to this equation. RBR are a massive privateer who spend million in Formula 1 and have done so at a very critical time for F1. They represent what is best about F1 and privateers…something even Ron Dennis can’t claim these days with his Honda woes.

I’ve said it before, RBR’s possible departure from the sport is a huge void and will have a bad knock-on effect. “You want me on that wall, you need me on that wall” to borrow a phrase.

If you can look beyond your fan bias, I think you’ll see that their participation in F1 is critical right now. Don’t believe me? Maybe you’ll believe Pirelli when they said:

“It would make us think very heavily, yes,” said motorsport director Paul Hembery.

“To lose two high quality, well-funded, professional teams – and I can’t imagine there would be immediate replacements, even though we have Haas entering next year – then you are going to be worried.

“I know people say teams come and go, but we are talking about a very serious investment made over a significant number of years by Red Bull, and from our point of view, it would weaken the sport dramatically.”

RBR are not HRT or Caterham, folks. This team is essential to F1’s health just as Ferrari and Mercedes are. Few people are willing to invest this heavily in the series right now but Dietrich Mateschitz is one who is. Sure, manufacturers are…well, a couple of them anyway but they can come and go.

What we’re looking for is stability like Williams and McLaren who are privateers and long-time pundits in the game. RBR has resources much greater than either of those entities and it will be a truly sad day if they leave.

Before you start accusing me of having a big fan bias, you may recall that I am actually a Ferrari fan so I have no knife in this fight. I am just looking at it objectively. The team I like should offer to provide engines to RBR full-song without old software or components. Sure, RBR have Adrian Newey but we have James Allison. If either team wins, it’s still a Ferrari victory.

Now, perhaps Pirelli’s comments are being tainted by a story I read this morning about top teams in F1 putting pressure on Bernie Ecclestone to go with Michelin instead of Pirelli in the future. Maybe Pirelli is not feeling the love but I don’t think that’s the reason for Paul’s logic here. I think Paul is spot on and he knows the value RBR brings to the sport. So does Bernie Ecclestone.

On a final note, it’s not lost on me that much of this is politics and positioning for control and the best deal. It is also concerning that there is a whiff of rats leaving a sinking ship given the current state of F1 with outrageously expensive hybrid engines and the pendulum having swung way too far toward the engineering wonks. It’s an untenable regulatory specification and perhaps teams just need an excuse to bow out of a series that isn’t making sense anymore for their brand etc. Who knows?


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Junipero Mariano

If I was Red Bull, and it had really got down to the wire, I’d say, “Fine, we’ll take last year’s engines and we’ll beat you anyway.” They seems to do well enough with Renault, with just a bump up, who knows?

Junipero Mariano

If I was running Red Bull, and it really got down to the wire, I’d say “Fine, we’ll take last year’s engine and beat you anyway.”
They’re doing well enough with Renault, with a step up to Ferrari, I see it being possible.

Johnpierre Rivera


Junipero Mariano

Oops, duplicate post!

charlie white

Red Bull Racing did more marketing and promotion for Formula-1 off track than the sport itself or its other teams. I understand what Pirelli is saying here. They did all types of street demonstrations, publicity stunts and such and Pirelli was promoted in association at these events. Pirelli knows neither Ferrari or McLaren would stage a public street demo for the fans or race their F1 cars on a beach or atop a high rise platform for YouTube.

Johnpierre Rivera

this is 100% true, but RB is also advancing its brand via F1 so it is not as though they are doing this out of the kindness of their heart.

peter riva

Oh, lord… the sinking ship….

Johnpierre Rivera

Ok where to begin. Respectfully here is why I am not quite on board with what Paul Hembery/Pirelli have to say. First of all I am not sure it is RB’s right to have a competitive engine. Where in the rule book does it say that the FIA has to guarantee a constructor the best power plant to compete in the F1? If that were the case then Honda would be able to develop away at their engine all year long. Is McLaren threatning to quit F1? No. A few years back when Williams was running a Cosworth engine that… Read more »


I think if Redbulll, Toro rosso Leave, prize money to teams should be increased, 4 less teams to share prize money with, plus extra prize money could help teams run 3rd cars

James Hayden

For me it would be a let down for the drivers more so if red bull go like vestappen ect Ricardo also for parreli to say they might pull out maybe they have been secretly been paid by red bull to know the tyres better also saunter ect are privateers not getting the best as red bull do if it was just red bull I’d say go but as drivers will miss out to its a. Shame that they are being selfish and bad for f1 sour grapes they are a disgrace sore losers who have only there selves to… Read more »


I am going to quit posting comments unless I am given the “post pf the week” honors every week!

I am really serious guys!

Guys? Hello?

Peter Aletras

Change of tyre provider, no problem. A few new emblems on uniforms and hats, some new stickers on the cars and off we go. But?…where does the Infinity logo go on a Ferarri engined Red Bull?