Red Bull Racing Threaten to Quit Formula One

Helmut Marko, Red Bull’s Motorsport Consultant, has said that F1 runs the risk of losing Red Bull if they get rid of a non-manufacturer engine option.

Although 2021 might be a few years away, the announcement from Red Bull’s Helmut Marko that the sport could lose the storied team’s participation was enough to cause a stir in the community. Following talks between the FIA and both manufacturer’s that are and aren’t involved in Formula One, Marko cautioned both the FIA and Liberty Media that a non-manufacturer option will have to be presented in the new ruleset if they wish to see Red Bull’s continued participation.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 25: Sparks fly behind Daniel Ricciardo of Australia driving the (3) Red Bull Racing Red Bull-TAG Heuer RB13 TAG Heuer on track during final practice for the Australian Formula One Grand Prix at Albert Park on March 25, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – MARCH 25: Sparks fly behind Daniel Ricciardo of Australia driving the (3) Red Bull Racing Red Bull-TAG Heuer RB13 TAG Heuer on track during final practice for the Australian Formula One Grand Prix at Albert Park on March 25, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

If they were to abstain from including such an option, the sport would lose not only the main Red Bull team, but also Toro Rosso – both of which are fielding Renault’s engines as customers.

“The latest must be 2021 that an independent engine supplier comes into F1. This is more than necessary, and the engine has to be simple, noisy and on the cost side below 10 million.

We are talking about a much less sophisticated engine than what we have now, a simple racing engine. There are enough companies around that could supply.
So, we expect from the new owners together with the FIA to find a solution at the latest by the end of this season.

If that doesn’t happen our stay in F1 is not secured.” – Helmut Marko

BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN - APRIL 16: Daniel Ricciardo of Australia driving the (3) Red Bull Racing Red Bull-TAG Heuer RB13 TAG Heuer leads Valtteri Bottas driving the (77) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes F1 WO8 on track during the Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix at Bahrain International Circuit on April 16, 2017 in Bahrain, Bahrain.  (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN – APRIL 16: Daniel Ricciardo of Australia driving the (3) Red Bull Racing Red Bull-TAG Heuer RB13 TAG Heuer leads Valtteri Bottas driving the (77) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes F1 WO8 on track during the Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix at Bahrain International Circuit on April 16, 2017 in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Although Marko was the first to comment on the proposed change, Red Bull certainly wouldn’t be the only team affected by such a switch. Truthfully, the impact of Formula One removing the non-manufacturer option would be such a catastrophic shot in the foot for the sport that it’s hard to see them pushing it into any form of conceivable reality.

While Marko’s remarks are truthful, it’s perhaps best to view them as a means to draw the regulating bodies’ attention to details that shouldn’t slip through the cracks. This also isn’t the first time that Red Bull have threatened to quit Formula One either, it’s a negotiating tool. Of course, it could be the Bull who cried Wolf.

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