Lauda: Red Bull could have had Mercedes engines

The engine saga in Formula 1 continues and now it seems that Mercedes were keen to work with Red Bull but according to team oracle, Nikki Lauda, (because I can’t be bothered with typing Mercedes non-executive chairman every time) the Austrian energy drink team waited too long:

“I have to be clear – Christian and Helmut [Marko] wrote us one letter to say they would like engines. I said ‘yes, but first we have to discuss with Mr Mateschitz’ because Mateschitz, for whatever reason, never liked Mercedes,” Lauda told Sky Sports F1.

“There is something in the past which I do not know. So I went to see Mateschitz myself because I know him and asked ‘are you really interested?’ and he said ‘yes, but, but, but…’.

“And then out of this ‘but, but, but’ we never continued any talks. So we had to take a decision as Mercedes: where did we go with the engines because are Lotus staying or are they not staying? So we then decided to give Manor the engines.

“We never came into to serious discussion [with Red Bull]. Now for Red Bull I think the only option is Ferrari and they are negotiating.”

you have Lotus F1 in a state of limbo over their 2016 need for Merc engines, Manor taking the slot that possibly could have been Red Bull’s and Merc weighing in on everyone’s situation regarding engines…including how Ferrari are negotiating with Red Bull.

This would be comical if it were not so sad. The upside of the equation could be for Manor if they get a decent chassis for 2016 and while they were supposed to field their new effort after summer break, they’ve chosen to wait until 2016 to reveal a new car. One presumes that was financially motivated if anything else which does make you wonder how they can afford Merc power units.

Team boss Toto Wolff says they are in a holding pattern with Manor as Lotus F1 attempts to pull itself out of a nosedive via an acquisition by Renault:

“We like Manor a lot,” Wolff said ahead of Sunday’s race. “Because there is a competitive edge to the whole story, that if Manor gets the right chassis and the right engine, it would be a pretty interesting narrative how the team develops.

“But for us at the moment we are a little bit on standby because we need to understand what happens with Lotus as one of our customers, and move from there. So this is where we are.”

It remains to be seen what happens with Lotus or Manor but suffice it to say, it seems that Red Bull won’t be using Mercs. There was some discussion that there was some bad blood over the DTM series between the two companies but Nikki’s (the elderly F1 fan) comments seem to make that sound as if it was all on Red Bull’s side of the table.

Hat Tip: Sky Sports F1

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Sounds like he planting the seed of doubt if Red Bull leaves. Can you imagine the blame that will go around if RB leaves, and be sure Mercedes will get the a crap ton.

Negative Camber

LOL…yeah, no one wants to be the reason the team leaves the sport. I know many of you feel like the team are whinging and are the source of their own issues but I wills ay this again, this is a massive privateer with epic resources and huge investments into the sport. It would be a massive black hole if they left. I love privateers and we need to do what we can to keep them…including McLaren. Take your fan boy hats off and consider the impact of Williams, McLaren or RBR and STR leaving. That’s huge. Bring in third-car… Read more »


I heard third cars were now being seriously considered. mehhh. F1 needs to do a better job propping up the privateer teams. As much as I hate RB putting F1 in a hostage style situation, the environment was put there by F1. RB leaving would impact much more than F1. How many feeder series cars do they run. The promotions that they do. F1 needs RB.


Totally agree with you mate. I’ll admit that I’m a Mercedes Benz fan through and through. It would be devastating for the sport if the privateers you mentioned were to leave. As for introducing the third car rule… don’t even get me started.

Paul KieferJr

So, I guess the only person who stands in the way of RBR’s success is the RB owner. Get rid of him and you’re in business.


I’d like to know what his beef is with Mercedes Benz.

Tommy Mac

This smacks of BS..Toto Wolf said the Mercedes Board made the decision not supply RBR 2 weeks ago well 3 rather see a Ferrari alliance and rip merc to pieces, but i reckon Mateshcitz will pull the plug


Can you read? The bit about “but but” How can you supply engines to an unwilling partner? Clearly you cant read!

Tommy Mac

I can read just fine..but but means nothing Lauda says one thing and Wolf and the Mercedes board say another, it depends on where the discussions where with Renault at that time the haters are gonna hate


I agree… Horner told SkySports in Singapore that a “formal request” for engines was made to Mercedes at Silverstone and that Mercedes turned them down. Combine that with Toto’s own statements that Mercedes decided that they didn’t want to supply Red Bull with engines and you get a very different picture than the one that Lauda is painting.





Andreas Möller

So, Renault has now confirmed they’ve signed a letter of intent to buy a controlling stake in the Enstone team, at the end of the season. So the team that was Renault and became Lotus will be Renault again in 2016. But which engines will they use? They already said they’d pull out as an engine manufacturer, but if the Lotus deal comes through, will they be the second engine manufacturer that powers only one team? That means the current regulations (which limits the number of teams any engine manufacturer can supply) needs to be changed. And I say *if*… Read more »

Meine Postma

Ok, so, it’s Niki Lauda, not Nikki, or is that an inside joke I’ve missed?

The Captain

The machiavellian in me just doesn’t believe Merc all that much, they had a golden chance to throw RB over a barrel and I think they took it. But now rather than one of their main rivals getting stuck with a competitors year old engine, they threaten to quit throwing every spanner into the works (Pirelli is now saying if RB and TR leave they will think about it too). This just sounds a bit too much like an attempt to distance oneself from blame, which usually means you had something to do with it.


my arse, mercedes would never supply red bull, they are just politicking after the fact.