Red Bull team principal Christian Horner says he is trying to do everything to safeguard his team, but admits Volkswagen is unlikely to come to their rescue.
The Milton Keynes-based squad are facing an uncertain Formula 1 future after Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz admitted that he is disillusioned by the sport with the team struggling to compete at the front the past two seasons.
Engine partner Renault’s inability to provide the four-time World Champions with fast, reliable power units following the switch to V6s is the major sticking point for Mateschitz and company, and the two parties are set for an ugly divorce at the end of this season.
With Red Bull looking for a new engine supplier, it has been reported that Volkswagen will buy the outfit with the view of building their own engines from 2018 onwards with Ferrari providing power units over the next two years.
However, with Volkwagen caught up in the emissions scandal, which could result in fines running into billions, it now appears that the deal is dead in the water.
When asked by NBCSN if it was safe to assume it would not be provided by Volkswagen, Horner replied: “That seemed to go up in smoke.”
Horner, though, insists he is still trying everything in his power to make sure Red Bull stay on the Formula 1 grid.
“Dietrich Mateschitz, he doesn’t talk very often but when he does you have to sit up and take notice – and I think he’s somewhat disillusioned with Formula One at the moment,” he said.
“”He’s been very consistent in that statement. It’s my job to try and find a solution. We have a big commitment to Formula One, a big workforce, a very talented team and I’m doing my best to try and ensure that we find a competitive engine to power the team next year – but of course if that’s not the case there is a risk because Red Bull’s position is different to teams such as McLaren or Williams or Ferrari.
“Formula One has to provide a return. A marketing return globally. And, in order to do that, you need to be able to not be restricted in terms of the tools at your disposal.”