Red Bull team principal Christian Horner says he hopes his team will continue to race in Formula One next year and might even carry on using Renault engines.
The relationship between the four-time constructors’ champion and Renault has collapsed this year as the team seems set for its first winless season since 2008.
Without an engine supplier confirmed for next season, development work on Red Bull’s new car is hampered and the team’s owner has threatened to quit the sport altogether if he does not secure a competitive engine for next year.
Continuing with Renault is possible, Horner says “everything is open”.
Regarding a possible exit from the sport, he says “hopefully that won’t be the case”.
Horner has held two meetings with F1 commercial chief Bernie Ecclestone, with the first one also attended by Helmut Marko, a consultant to Red Bull and longtime adviser to billionaire owner Dietrich Mateschitz.
Ecclestone says he is confident Red Bull will return next year and that “everything’s sorted out now” with its engine problem.
Red Bull and its sister team, Toro Rosso, also owned by Mateschitz, has been linked with a possible deal to use Ferrari engines. However, German publication Auto Motor und Sport says Ferrari is only willing to supply Toro Rosso and not Red Bull.
If Ferrari supplies Red Bull and Toro Rosso, it will be providing engines for five of the 11 teams on the grid next season.
Red Bull’s engineering chief, Paul Monaghan, says the uncertainty over the engine is starting to impact the team’s chances next year. Further delays could push Red Bull’s development cycle back far enough for it to risk missing part of pre-season testing.
“At the moment it will be a squeeze but we’ll do it,” he says. “It’s wrong to say that anybody that runs the first test will automatically have a benefit on us. Yeah, they might, but we can cope, so however the land lies, we’ll deal with it.”
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton says he finds it “really odd” that Red Bull is considering quitting F1 after having been the sport’s leading team, winning the constructors’ title each year from 2010 to 2013.