Red Bull may be about to walk out on Formula 1, if reports are to be believed.
The Formula 1 team’s Motorsport adviser, Helmet Marko, has said they will leave the sport if either they cannot get a competitive engine, or Audi do not join forces with the team.
“If we don’t have a competitive engine in the near future, then either Audi is coming or we are out,” Marko told BBC Sport.
Like all current teams, Red Bull are contractually obliged to race in F1 until 2020. They also have a contract to use Renault engines until the end of the 2016 season.
However mounting frustration with the lack of performance and questionable reliability offered by Renault’s power plants has led to an obvious rethink about the team’s engine partnerships, and its very existence, in the long term future.
Marko has not revealed his opinion on the likelihood of a deal with Audi, but told the press: “There are so many rumours. Officially there was no request or talks. The VW Group first has to sort out who will be the new chief of support, who will run the brand of VW, and when they have sorted all these things maybe then they can think about what they are doing in motorsport.
“I was on the phone but not to the people you think.”
Red Bull’s frustration with Renault are well documented. Marko said: “I hope the reliability issues are solved pretty soon because it is really depressing how much we are losing on the straights.”
He added: “Renault see the problems themselves and we have to try and find out these problems together. It is not only reliability… It is also a quality problem.”