Inevitably, as the scale of Red Bull’s early season crisis becomes ever clearer, rumours of possible splits are now beginning to emerge.
Many of the reigning world champions’ problems are undoubtedly down to engine supplier Renault and the French marque’s struggle with the new V6 ‘power unit’ rules. So it is no surprise Red Bull, having won every title on offer since 2010 and every grand prix on the trot since last July, is supposedly on the move. But team boss Christian Horner on Thursday played down rumours of a switch to Honda, the incoming works supplier of turbo engines to McLaren next year.
It is said Honda is the logical choice for Red Bull, given the fact F1’s existing engine suppliers, Mercedes and Ferrari, are arch rivals. But Horner insisted: “There’s still a huge amount of trust (between Red Bull and Renault). “We’re certainly not looking outside the current agreement we have,” he told the Telegraph. Also rumoured to be eyeing greener grass is world champion Sebastian Vettel, despite Red Bull playing down rumours he recently threw a “hissy fit” when he realised the extent of the team’s 2014 problems.
But with Red Bull so obviously struggling, the Ferrari rumours were never going to be far down the road. Vettel insists: “I’m not a guy who runs away when it gets difficult. That’s the case both in my work and privately. “Of course there are always those who want to tell you the grass is greener somewhere else, but we shouldn’t forget the values of honesty, loyalty, the handshake. “This should apply especially when things are not going your way,” he added.
Vettel said he refuses to pin all the blame on Renault. “Everyone has in the past made their mistakes,” said the German, “but we are a team that in the last few years has had so much success and now we are sticking together.” He said he is not setting any goals or even expecting the worst next weekend in Australia, where many pundits are tipping a struggle for Vettel to emerge even from the ‘Q1’ qualifying segment. “Once we are there,” said Vettel, “we will do the best job we can and then adjust our goals accordingly. “If we are competitive, of course I want to win again,” he told Germany’s Sport Bild. “But at the moment it makes no sense even to talk about the title.”
Info: GMM, Image: Red Bull