Red Bull Racing’s motorsport advisor Helmut Marko has revealed the team looked into building its own Formula 1 engine on the back of the troubles it was experiencing with Renault, but decided against it mainly due to cost.
Marko revealed that the team would have required between 250-300 employees just to focus on the complicated power unit system that would not have been cost effective for Red Bull Racing, especially with doubts about how long the current V6 Hybrid era of Formula 1 will continue for.
“We looked at it but we very quickly found out it wasn’t for Red Bull,” said Marko on Autosport. “[It was] when we had the first tests in 2014. We were looking at it, investigating it.
“We are not talking about an engine, we’re talking about a power unit which is far more complicated and these engine regulations are wrong. It’s too expensive, it’s too engineering driven, it doesn’t make the sound you need and the driver is more or less a passenger.
“The costs are enormous. We are talking about 250-300 people just to develop such an engine and we don’t know how long the regulations will go.”
Marko insists Red Bull will be on the grid in 2017 despite the contract with Renault ending at the end of this season, but says the team want to know if the regulations will change before making any final decision of who to run with.
“We have options,” added Marko. “We won’t be without an engine next year. We have an option, but we want a competitive engine, one that you can run at the front, that you can win with.
“There are still discussions to equalise power within two per cent or bring the so-called independent engine in again. Let’s see what happens with the regulations and let’s see what development the engine we are using, which is a TAG Heuer, is doing this season.”