Ever since he realised that Red Bull were going to struggle for years to compete with Mercedes, Helmut Marko has been threatening to leave Formula 1. Another year, another threat, because although the Red Bull chassis is excellent the customer Renault engine is crap.
It all started to go wrong in 2013 when a dominant Mercedes was leaving the Red Bull well behind. Ever since, Dr Marko has done nothing but whinge and whine and makes threats to leave the sport.
The effect on Red Bull if Marko leaves
So what would the effect on the Red Bull F1 team be is Marko was to leave the sport?
Actually, not much. Christian Horner would still remember how to manage a team, Adrian Newey would still remember how to draw, the engineers would still remember how to be engineers and the mechanics would still be mechanics. The tyre man would still know about tyres. The drivers would still be excellent drivers.
What about money to fund the team?
Anyone who follows Formula 1 closely knows that the real money behind the Red Bull Racing team is billionaire and co-founder of the Red Bull drinks company, Dietrich Mateschitz. With an estimated net worth of over $18billion, and the tax incentives from the British government to hosting his team in the UK, there’s still a bit of pocket money left to help the team along and a lot of reasons to stay in the sport.
Power unit problems
With Mercedes refusing to supply Red Bull with a customer engine, and Ferarri much the same, Red Bull have one major problem on their hands; an under-performing power unit. Whilst the chassis is quick in the twisty sections, it’s overall power is lacking which saw the car fall miles behind Ferrari and Mercedes in the 2017 Spanish Grand Prix.
The problem for Red Bull is that no matter how much they complain in the press, Renault are never going to give the team their upgrades before their own manufacturer team, which would make no sense as Renault try and drag their car near to the front of the grid. Unless a new engine manufacturer enters the sport Red Bull will struggle to find a different supplier.
Ecclestone to make F1 team return?
Meanwhile, former F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone is making noises about starting his own team an recently made a suggestion that he would be willing to take over Force India with a “new Brabham team”. If Red Bull were to suddenly find itself in need of a new investor, Bernie might just be the man.