With Honda recently announcing its decision to withdraw from Formula One at the end of 2021, its customer teams – namely Red Bull Racing and Scuderia AlphaTauri – are looking to line up a competitive replacement.
Mercedes is almost certainly top of their list, as they have dominated the V6 turbo hybrid era of Formula One and currently have the strongest power unit on the grid.
However, the Silver Arrows have been quick to rule out a power unit supply deal with Red Bull, with team principal Toto Wolff saying such a partnership won’t be happening anytime soon.
“No,” replied Wolff when asked if Mercedes is willing to supply Red Bull with its power units.
“For various reasons, but the main being that we are supplying four teams [from 2021], including us. We are almost in a state that we can’t make power units for all of us, so there is no capacity,” he explained.
Continuing, Wolff said he is confident that Helmut Marko, a senior advisor at Red Bull and head of their driver development programme, has a plan.
“But I have no doubt that Helmut [Marko] will have a plan B, as he said, and probably doesn’t need to rely on any of the current power unit suppliers.”
Meanwhile, Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto said the team is potentially open to an engine supply deal with Red Bull and its sister team.
“We’re not [currently] considering it. It’s something we need to start considering now. I think we have not decided,” Binotto said.
“First, I think it will be down to Red Bull, eventually, to look at us and ask for a supply. They’re a great team, no doubt, [but] I think that supplying them is a lot of energy, which is required. But something which we need to consider and which we have no position [on] yet.”
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