Red Bull have already written off the 2015 season and now suggest they may leave the sport unless they can get a competitive engine package from Renault or perhaps Audi decide to come to Formula 1.
According to Red Bull Racing advisor, Dr. Helmet Marko, the team has had discussions but not necessarily with folks you would presume he was speaking with in regards to Audi’s possible decision to enter the sport:
“There are so many rumours. Officially there was no request or talks. The VW Group first has to sort out who will be the new chief of support, who will run the brand of VW, and when they have sorted all these things maybe then they can think about what they are doing in motorsport.
“I was on the phone but not to the people you think.”
The team are keen to have a complete package to enable them to be competitive and with the current Renault supply leaving them already on their fourth engine in the season and looming grid penalties ahead, they would like to see a new option but right now there is only Ferrari and Mercedes so the choices are very slim as far as engine supplies go.
The team could be spending in the neighborhood of $250-$350 million on their program and that’s a lot to spend to be narrowly inside the top ten on any given weekend—this from a team who clinched four titles in successive years.
The rumors of Audi coming to F1 have been going on for years now but with sister company, Porsche, in the WEC racing at Le Mans, it does seem odd to have two companies, both owned by VW, battling it out at the brand expense of the other.
Porsche has long been synonymous with Le Mans and Audi has nothing left to prove as they have dominated the series for a decade. Audi’s credibility may be great in sports car racing but many believe if they really want to be a contender, they should bring their operation to F1 and prove themselves on the ultimate proving ground.
If I were the chief of VW, I would want Audi beating my Porsche team as I would be trying to recapture the glory of the Porsche brand with Le Mans—that’s hard to do when Audi is beating your brains out.
If I looked at other places to really take on the might of German engineering, what better place than F1 and Mercedes? Red Bull would like to be their partners and why not?
Hat Tip: BBC Sport