F1 »

Red Bull chief: Mercedes said no for fear of being beaten

Red Bull motorsport advisor Dr. Helmut Marko reveals that the real reason Mercedes-Benz would not supply RBR with engines in F1 2010 is that 'they knew they wouldn't see us' for dust...
Mercedes-Benz refused to supply Red Bull Racing in F1 2010 because 'they knew that if we had that engine, they wouldn't see us' – that is the assertion of the energy drinks manufacturer's famously outspoken motorsport advisor Dr. Helmut Marko.

It was strongly rumoured over the summer of last year that Red Bull was endeavouring to ditch its Renault powerplants to switch to Mercedes for the recently-begun campaign – and when nothing ultimately came of those efforts, the general belief was that either McLaren-Mercedes or Brawn GP, or perhaps even both, had vetoed the move, given that it would have meant four teams being supplied with what is widely-regarded as the best engine in F1 by the three-pointed star in 2010.

Now, however, Marko has stated that the truth behind the matter is that in the knowledge that it was to re-launch an official 'works' entry in the top flight this year – the return of the iconic 'Silver Arrows' as Mercedes Grand Prix, what was Brawn GP – it was the Stuttgart marque itself that decided against doing a deal.

“They didn't want us,” the former grand prix ace told Austrian television chain Servus TV. “Without being arrogant, they knew that if we had that engine, they wouldn't see us [on the track].”

Marko added that the ongoing engine development freeze in F1 has penalised the likes of Renault and Ferrari, and confirmed that Mercedes' rivals are repeatedly petitioning governing body the FIA to even things out a bit more.

“What we are trying now, and what Renault and Ferrari have also tried, is that we do an equalisation of the engine situation,” the 66-year-old explained.

After the Red Bull-Renault relationship was weakened through rather too many technical and mechanical issues and failures in 2008 and 2009 – at one stage late last year, even threatening to earn Sebastian Vettel a ten-place grid penalty for running out of engines to use – the Milton Keynes-based squad's challenge has not got off to the best of starts in 2010 either, with the young German being denied victory and even a podium finish at all in the curtain-raising Bahrain Grand Prix at Sakhir at the weekend when a spark plug let him down.

RBR team-mate Mark Webber's car, meanwhile, let out several plumes of smoke around the opening lap in the desert kingdom – with the resulting lack of visibility for following drivers ostensibly causing the coming-together between the Force India of Adrian Sutil and, somewhat ironically, Robert Kubica's Renault.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB 6
Mercedes badge on McLaren nose at the Hungarian Grand Prix
Helmut Marko (AUT), Red Bull`s Motorsport Consultant, British F1, Silverstone, 4-6th, July, 2008
Juan Pablo Montoya celebrates after winning the 2017 Race of Champions title in Miami [Pic credit: ROC]
Race of Champions 2017, action [Pic credit: ROC]
Juan Pablo Monotya. Race of Champions 2017, action [Pic credit: ROC]
2017 Race of Champions line-up in Miami [Pic credit: ROC]
George Russell, Mercedes junior programme, [Credit: Mercedes]
Kevin Magnussen - Haas F1 Team [credit: Haas F1 Team]
Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes AMG Petronas
Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes AMG Petronas
Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes AMG Petronas
Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes AMG Petronas
Ayrton Senna - McLaren. 1993 Donington Park
Nico Hulkenberg - Renault Sport F1
Renault Formula One Team, launch date, [Credit: Renault F1]
Force India reveals the launch date for its 2017 F1 challenge
Nigel Mansell - McLaren-Mercedes

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


March 17, 2010 3:39 PM

Merc/McL last year gave ForceI the engine and gearbox and shifters and tech support and personel. How many more teams do they need to supply? I don't care for some of Merc's tactics but they don't have to give RBR anything.

© 1999 - 2017 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.