Red Bull is now shaping up to be powered by Ferrari engines in 2016.
Earlier, it emerged that the energy drink team and its sister outfit Toro Rosso were definitely set to split with their current engine partner Renault.
Reportedly, Red Bull’s preferred new supplier was Mercedes, but it is believed the Daimler board has finally decided against working with the former quadruple world champions.
“The Mercedes topic is over for us,” Red Bull official Dr Helmut Marko confirmed to Bild newspaper. “We are focusing on other options now.”
It is no secret that Red Bull’s other option is Ferrari, with representatives of the two sides meeting at Monza last weekend for talks.
“It is my job to talk with everybody,” said Red Bull team boss Christian Horner.
His Ferrari counterpart Maurizio Arrivabene, meanwhile, indicated that – perhaps unlike Mercedes – the Maranello team has no issues with working with Red Bull.
“I don’t see any kind of problem to give our engine to any other team or be scared of the competition before they start,” he said.
“Red Bull have big names like Adrian Newey, and it is easy to think if you give them the engine they will build a scary chassis,” Arrivabene added.
“But my team, my engineers, my aerodynamicists know their jobs. We fight with everybody.”
Horner said a decision is now pressing, with the ball in Renault’s court to decide its next step, which is said to be a buyout of the Lotus team.
“Time is starting to press on,” he said. “We are now into September and everyone needs to know what are Renault’s plans within the next two weeks.”
Once the ball starts to roll, and Lotus presumably moves from Mercedes to Renault power, it is expected that Manor will then become Mercedes’ next F1 partner.
“Manor would be basically the experimental and junior team of the Silver Arrows,” said Bild newspaper.
“They would accommodate there the DTM driver and current F1 reserve driver Pascal Wehrlein,” the German report added. (GMM)