July 23, 2015

Would Mercedes really give Red Bull a competitive engine?

via Autosprint

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.

When Sergio Marchionne, in Montreal, declared he would be happy to provide Ferrari power to Red Bull, he was trying to derail a deal which had yet to be finalized because for Ferrari a Mercedes powered Red Bull is a problem, on track but also commercially.  There is the missed opportunity to sell €22Mllion worth of engines (yeah, that's for two engine supplies to one team!) and the added exposure F1 would provide Aston Martin, a direct competitor in road cars.

A deal between RBR and Mercedes, Autosprint continues, had been in the works years ago but had been blocked by McLaren.

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..

Niki Lauda had dismissed the notion at Silverstone but Toto Wolff was quiet.  Rumors have Lauda vehemently against furnishing a team with financial and technical capabilities to be a direct competitor with Wolff taking a longer term view with the welfare of the series in mind.

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.


  1. It would be great to have Toyota as supplier but it will not happen... Nissan is a Renault company that will not go .

  2. Renault buying Lotus makes zero sense. What happened to buying Toro Rosso?

  3. I'm don't thin buying Lotus makes "no sense" after all Lotus used to be the official Renault team. Toro Rosso was Minardi and are based in Italy. A better choice than Marussia or Sauber

  4. NO!!!

    they supply "same" engines, but redbull will never be able to challenge Merc for championships!, sure they can win few races, if thats what they are after then yes they can go for it.


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