Red Bull boss Dietrich Mateschitz has revealed that the partnership between his Formula 1 teams and Renault Sport will end at the end of 2015, with the energy drinks boss revealing he would accept a short-term deal to run with Ferrari engines before linking up with a manufacturer, possibly VW/Audi, in or around 2018.
The ending of the Red Bull-Renault partnership has been on the cards for a while following a disappointing 2015 season full of reliability issues and under-performing, with Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat only having finished on the podium once all year so far.
“The separation from our engine partner takes place at the end of the season by mutual consent,” said Mateschitz to Austrian television broadcaster ORF. “It makes no sense to work together: we could not do that to our teams any longer.”
“It is not our aim to be fifth of sixth in the championship. We need a new engine.”
Mateschitz has insisted in the past that he would withdraw from Formula 1 should Red Bull not have a competitive engine, but it seems a tie-in with Ferrari would see his teams remain in the sport, as it would mean Red Bull could once again compete for podiums on a regular basis.
“That would be, for the next two or three years, a very acceptable solution,” said Mateschitz of the potential Ferrari deal. “[But] if Ferrari as a work teams, and with [Sebastian] Vettel, cannot deliver [the championship] then it will not be possible for us as a customer.
“But we can get to the first three rows of the grid, and from there on to the podium.”