That was the first thing that came to mind when the rumor of a deal that would have brought Mercedes power to Red Bull Racing.
However, a recent issue of Autosprint lays out a scenario that is, at the very least, intriguing to follow.
Let me summarize:
Next year Red Bull Racing would run a Mercedes Power Unit while junior team Toro Rosso would continue to use Renault.
The deal was started at the Monaco GP and would see Aston Martin come in as a sponsor on the RBR cars, taking the place of Infiniti. The engines would not be re-badged as Astons.
The final turning point came at the Austrian GP with Dietrich Mateschitz threatening to leave F1 because of Renault. This shook not just Ecclestone who desperately needs a rival to the Silver Arrows for 2016 but also Mercedes who have interest in seeing the series thrive (as long as they are on top anyway).
Enter Aston Martin. In late 2013, AMG Mercedes signed a deal to supply engines for Aston Martin road cars and Mercedes has promised to acquire a 5% stake in the British car maker which is currently devided between an Italian private equity firm, Investindustrial, at 37.5%, The Kuwaiti Sovereign fund and David Richards among others.
Adrian Newey and Red Bull Technologies will, as part of the deal,. to be collaborating with Aston Martin on a future top of the line car..
The deal became possible, always according to Autosprint, because Renault has finalized the purchase of 51% of Lotus (We have only been able to independently confirm top level talks have been taking place but nothing has been finalized yet).
The stake in Lotus would eventually increase but Renault is said to have asked Ecclestone for a dispensation so that the team may officially enter the 2016 season as Renault without the economic (revenue share) penalties of entering as a new team. 2016 cars would sport the traditional yellow and black of the Regie.
Winners and losers? Red Bull gains the best engine available, Mercedes gains the best available client team, gets to monetize engines it was uncertain Lotus would fully pay for and gets to look magnanimous in front of the sport,
Renault would be largely free of the now damaged relationship with Red Bull and with Lotus gain a team which has good infrastructure and is free of much of the debt that saddles other available teams. Renault would also be in the position to take better advantage of the exposure or running their own team.
Loser? Certainly Ferrari who in 2016 will have Sauber, Manor and Haas as clients.
Will it happen? Would Mercedes take the risk? Would Red Bull accept the possibility of getting a B-Spec unit?
Stay tuned, meanwhile here is Rosberg's pole position lap in Hungary last season.