SOCHI (Russia) • Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone has played down fears that former champions Red Bull could walk away from the sport by saying that he is confident their engine-supply problems have been "sorted out".
Without giving any details, and despite reports that Ferrari had joined Mercedes in refusing to supply their rivals with engines for next year, the 84-year-old sounded upbeat at the Russian Grand Prix yesterday.
"We don't want them to drop out. I think they have sorted it all out now."
The Briton appeared confident there would be 22 cars on the starting grid next year with the addition of new team Haas F1.
Red Bull's engine predicament has become the talk of the Formula One paddock, with the energy drink company owning two of the 10 teams but potentially having no power units after this season.
Red Bull Racing and Toro Rosso are currently supplied by Renault - and had a deal for next year. But that relationship has soured, with the French manufacturer seemingly set to buy troubled Lotus.
Ecclestone said suggestions that Red Bull's owner Dietrich Mateschitz had fallen out of love with the sport were wide of the mark.
"He just wants to be in a position where he can be competitive. And that's what will happen. He will be okay," the Briton said.