Red Bull won't quit F1, says Ecclestone

SPIELBERG - Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone does not think Red Bull will quit racing while Ferrari have offered to provide engines to the Austrian team in place of Renault.

Red Bull have become increasingly critical of current partner Renault and the engine supplier's failure to narrow the performance gap with Mercedes and Ferrari.

The champions for four years in a row from 2010 to 2013 have threatened to pull out of the sport. But Ecclestone believes Red Bull - who own 20 per cent of the grid - are just frustrated right now.

"They're disappointed, aren't they?" the Briton told reporters after a meeting with Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz at the Austrian Grand Prix. "What they are saying is it's not our fault that our performance is what it is. That's what their complaint is.

"They've been used to winning with Renault and now (they are not). So, he (Mateschitz) is a bit frustrated. He's spent a lot of money, does a good job and has been fantastic for Formula One...

"I don't think they will quit. I know Mr Mateschitz very well. There'd be more chance of him pulling out if he was winning than when he was losing."

Meanwhile, Ferrari chairman Sergio Marchionne yesterday confirmed that the Scuderia would be "more than glad" to provide engines to their Formula One rivals.

Red Bull motor sports consultant Helmut Marko, a close confidant of Mateschitz's, told Austrian reporters after the Canadian Grand Prix that Marchionne had offered a deal.

Asked whether Ferrari were in talks with Red Bull, who used Ferrari engines in 2006, Marchionne replied: "I talk to everybody. It's in our DNA, we've done it before.

"I think we can provide engines to any of the teams that want to race.

"As long as we keep control over the aerodynamic work on the car, I think there's going to be enough distinguishing traits between us and the competition.

"We are more than glad to try and provide a level playing field now that the engine is there."

Red Bull, whose drivers have yet to appear on the podium this season, are contracted to Renault for 2016 but both sides are weighing up the longer-term options.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 22, 2015, with the headline 'Red Bull won't quit F1, says Ecclestone'. Print Edition | Subscribe