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BMW open to customer engine supply, eyeing Red Bull?

BMW has dropped hints that it may be willing to follow fellow German manufacturer Mercedes-Benz in supplying 'customer' versions of its engines to other F1 teams – with suggestions the Bavarian marque has Red Bull Racing as its prime target.

Last week Mercedes-Benz Motorsport Vice-President Norbert Haug revealed that the three-pointed star is prepared to provide powerplants to a fourth team in 2010, in addition to McLaren, Force India and current world championship leaders Brawn GP [see separate story – click here]. It had been rumoured that the fourth team in its sights was Red Bull – but now it seems the Stuttgart concern may have competition.

“We have the capacity to make our engines available to other teams,” BMW Motorsport Director Dr Mario Theissen told German magazine Sport Bild.

It has been noted that a relationship with Red Bull – Renault-powered at present and fast hunting down Brawn GP in both the drivers' and constructors' title chases – would provide BMW with a way of working with Sebastian Vettel once again. The young German – the sport's latest sensation – made his debut in the top flight for the Munich and Hinwil-based outfit in the US Grand Prix at Indianapolis in place of the convalescing Robert Kubica in mid-2007, joining the elite club of drivers to have got into the points on their maiden appearance with eighth place.

BMW has made little secret since of its desire to welcome the Heppenheim native back into the fold, but Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner has insisted that he is in no hurry to make a decision about an engine-partner for 2010.

“Regarding our engine choice, we can wait even until the winter time,” the Englishman contended.



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