Red Bull may yet quit F1


We've said it before and we'll say it again, for a team that initially seemed intent on putting the fun in to F1, Red Bull gives you whinge.

Having spent most of last year threatening to walk away from the sport unless it got what it wanted, the Austrian team is at it again, effectively saying that if its demands aren't met it will quit.

Talking to Speedweek - the energy drink equivalent of Pravda - Dietrich Mateschitz echoed Bernie Ecclestone's and Max Mosley's claim that Mercedes and Ferrari control the sport.

"The tail is wagging the dog and Bernie is right," he said. "It wasn't him who put F1 into the gravel trap: it was the manufacturers who dictate what's going on."

With a Tag-Heuer (Renault) in the back of the RB12, nobody, least of all Mateschitz, is expecting miracles this season, especially as the French manufacturer is fielding its own team.

Furthermore, having already been turned down by both Mercedes and Ferrari, certainly in terms of same-spec engines as its works teams, things are not looking any better for 2017 and beyond.

"We are too good to be domestiques," he insisted, referring to the practice whereby race cyclists support their leader and teammates. "Formula 1 is not the Tour de France.

"If we are not competitive from an engine point of view, we will leave, he warned. "For sure we don't want to spend the next five years fighting for P5. We want to be P3 behind the manufacturers' teams. We should win the fight against the customer teams of Mercedes and Ferrari."

Looking ahead to this season, he admitted: "The new staff from Renault Sport are professional, passionate and determined. Our new car is one of the best we've ever made. Its performance is great. In short: It's another masterpiece from Adrian and his team."

And at a time, many are expecting Toro Rosso to have the upper hand, certainly in the opening stages of the season.

"The car is great," he said. "I wouldn't be surprised if Toro Rosso were on the same level or even faster than Red Bull in the first races. Toro Rosso is supposed to achieve something between fourth and sixth in the constructors' championship. But this is what we have hoped for every year so far."

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Published: 13/03/2016
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