6 July 2015
F1 British Grand Prix: Horner dismisses Aston Martin-Mercedes rumours
Christian Horner plays down the suggestion Red Bull will be considering a Mercedes customer engine deal in 2017.
Christian Horner has played down the suggestion Red Bull could be considering a Mercedes customer engine supply from 2017 under the Aston Martin banner.
Reports ahead of the British Grand Prix have stoked speculation that iconic sportscar marque Aston Martin is considering options to enter F1 in a collaboration with four-time world championship winning team Red Bull, albeit with a deal involving rebranded Mercedes engines.
Red Bull's future plans beyond its current deal with Renault remains unclear, with leading figures in the team airing disappointment with the French firm as it struggles to develop a competitive V6 Hybrid power unit, while Renault itself has hinted it may go it alone by purchasing an existing outfit, with Lotus well-known to be in its sights.
As such, Red Bull's only option could be to – reluctantly - accept a customer supply from Mercedes, Ferrari or Honda if it wishes to continue, but the prospect of doing so under a different brand could well provide, at worst, a short-term solution.
The emergence of Aston Martin as a possible option, in relation to Mercedes, is the result of the German firm owning a 5 per cent stake in the brand, a deal that has allowed it to developed a new range of sportscars using AMG-developed engines.
Furthermore, newly appointed CEO Andy Palmer arrived at Aston Martin from Nissan and was instrumental in brokering Red Bull's title sponsorship deal with Nissan's luxury arm, Infiniti, which will continue to back the team until the end of 2016 too.
Despite this, Horner remains coy on the suggestion that it will be looking to Mercedes for a potential supply, pointing out that it has already been linked to Ferrari in recent weeks too.
“The fact is we have a contract with Infiniti and Renault to end of 2016. Anything beyond the end of that agreement is pure speculation.
“Last week it was Ferrari, this week it is Aston Martin, next week it'll probably be Honda or Lamborghini, so there is a lot of speculation. There is a contract and a commitment with Infiniti and we have a very good relationship, so anything beyond 2016 is purely speculative.”
Wolff, meanwhile, says Mercedes is open to the possibility of supplying Red Bull, without making any specific reference to the Aston Martin stories.
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