Red Bull threaten to quit F1 unless rules are changed
Frustrated Red Bull team say Formula One’s constantly changing rules may force them out of the competition
After their disastrous start to the Grand Prix season, Red Bull have warned motor racing bosses that the team could quit the sport at the end of the year if engine rules are not changed.
Lewis Hamilton cruised to victory in the Australian Grand Prix on Sunday, the Mercedes driver followed home by teammate Nico Rosberg with Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel in third and Williams's Felipe Mass in fourth. But further down the field Red Bull suffered a humiliating afternoon in Melbourne.
Daniil Kvyat's car broke down on the formation lap with gearbox failure and though teammate Daniel Ricciardo made it to the grid, he was lapped by both Hamilton and Rosberg.
Ricciardo finished sixth but that didn't prevent a furious Red Bull team boss, Christian Horner, from launching a scathing attack on their engine suppliers. Describing Renault as "a bit of a mess", he added: "It's been a very tough weekend for Renault. I mean the engine is just quite undriveable. You can see and hear that from the comments the drivers are making."
Now it's the sport's governing body in Red Bull's line of fire with Sky Sports reporting that they're growing increasingly frustrated with Mercedes domination since Formula One ushered in the new power-centric turbo era last year. Described by one newspaper as "the most significant change for a generation", the turbo-charged 1.6 litre V6 engines replaced the V8s in all cars.
Helmut Marko, an adviser to Dietrich Mateschitz, the owner of the Red Bull, told reporters in the wake of Sunday's race: "We will evaluate the situation again [in the summer] as [we do] every year, and look into costs and revenues."
Asked if Red Bull might consider withdrawing from next year's championship, Marko replied: "If we are totally dissatisfied we could contemplate an F1 exit. The danger is there that Mr Mateschitz loses his passion for F1."
Though Red Bull ruled the roost at the turn of the decade, winning four successive title doubles, they've been overshadowed by Mercedes since the start of last year's championship. "Is it healthy to have this?" queried a despondent Horner. "The FIA have an equalisation mechanism within the rules. They perhaps need to look at it."
The complaints got short shrift from Mercedes, however, with team boss Toto Wolff retorting: "If you come into F1 and you try to beat each other or perform at the highest level and equalisation is what you need after the first race and you cry out after the first race, it is not how we have done things in the past and not how we have moaned."
According to BBC Sport, the FIA is unlikely to make any moves to address Red Bull's grievances.