Red Bull put brakes on threat to exit F1

SAO PAULO - After months of threatening to quit Formula One if they failed to secure a competitive engine, Red Bull have confirmed their participation next season.

This is despite the fact that the Austrian team have yet to finalise an engine deal for next year.

Team principal Christian Horner told BBC Sport: "We are committed to being in F1 next year and in the future. We are working hard to put together as competitive a proposition as possible."

Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo expects this weekend's Brazilian Grand Prix to be used as an evaluation test by his team as they run Renault's latest upgraded engines.

After months of disagreements with the French suppliers, Red Bull may yet return to them.

"We are undecided on what we are going to do next year," Ricciardo told a news conference at Interlagos. "So if maybe we do see something positive for this weekend and take it forward next year, it could give us an option or give us a clarity on where we want to go."

"With two races left, we are not fighting for a whole lot," added the Australian, who will get a 10-place grid penalty for the engine change.

"So there is nothing to lose in trying it... Renault said it is not going to give me a whole lot of lap time, between one-tenth and two-tenths...

"I am curious to know more about the driveability."

Red Bull won four world titles with Renault from 2010 to 2013 but have not been able to match Mercedes since the introduction of the new turbo hybrid engines last season. They are fourth in the constructor's standings, with only three podium finishes this season.

In June, Red Bull boss Dietrich Mateschitz threatened to quit F1, saying their engine issues were sapping the team's "will and motivation" to continue.

Mercedes have already wrapped up the drivers' and constructors' titles. Lewis Hamilton promised that he was going to party hard only after securing his third world championship and has lived up to his word.

"It was a result of heavy partying and not much rest for a week and a half. I am a bit run down," said the Briton of his recent accident in Monaco, where he crashed his £1.5 million (S$3.2 million) supercar.

Driving his favourite Pagani Zonda, which is capable of reaching 350kmh, he hit three parked cars at 3.30am on Tuesday.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, THE TIMES, LONDON

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 14, 2015, with the headline 'Red Bull put brakes on threat to exit F1'. Print Edition | Subscribe