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Lauda acknowledges ‘Didi’ could quit

It looks like Dietrich Mateschitz’s threats to leave F1 are not idle with Mercedes’ Niki Lauda admitting that the Red Bull billionaire has lost interest in the sport.

Red Bull and Toro Rosso are facing uncertain futures at the moment with Christian Horner confirming that Mateschitz is “somewhat disillusioned with Formula One at the moment”.

One of the major sticking points for Red Bull is that they want a competitive and reliable engine, something which their current supplier Renault has been unable to provide them.

It was initially mooted that Mercedes could supply RBR next year, but the German company ruled itself out and the team’s advisor Helmut Marko has said they will now either be powered by Ferrari or quit the sport.

Although many remain skeptical about the quit threats, Lauda believes Mateschitz could pull the plug.

Asked if his fellow Austrian had lost interest, Lauda replied: “It looks like it to me, yes. I’ve known him a long time and normally he’s the master of all this. But he never gets involved at the moment.

“Mateschitz at the moment, my feeling is he’s not pushing hard himself… he is not the leader like he was in the past.”

He added to Reuters: “It’s hard for me to say from a distance but the way Didi is acting at the moment, he could consider it (pulling his teams out).”

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