Red Bull: engine parity with Ferrari or Mateschitz calls it quits

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Red Bull Racing is looking for guarantees from Ferrari that any potential customer engine deal will include parity status with the Scuderia.

Following Mercedes refusal to supply Red Bull Racing with its power unit next season, Ferrari is the only remaining viable option left on the table for the former world championship team.

Last weekend in Singapore, team boss Christian Horner qualified ongoing discussions with the house of Maranello as positive but the energy drinks company has now made clear that it will only settle for equal performance parity on the engine front, or possibly not remain in Formula 1.

Neither Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz or the company's motorsport boss Helmut Marko have spoken publicly about the issue, but a clear inference was noted on Red Bull's 'Speedweek' media platform.

"Red Bull doesn’t want to have customer engines that have 30 to 40 hp less and can be manipulated by the constructor in case of the customer team endangering the works team."

In case the message was not clear enough, the following paragraph in the article definitely cleared up any doubts:

"Red Bull would like to continue in F1 only if Ferrari is willing to provide true works engines that are on the same level as the engines of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen."

When Mercedes emerged over the summer as a possible engine supplier to Red Bull, Lewis Hamilton publicly questioned the opportunity and its potential adverse effects on Mercedes' own dominance.

One therefore wonders what recommendation Sebastian Vettel may have put forward to sporting director Maurizio Arrivabene regarding an eventual association with Red Bull, although Ferrari itself has said it remains open to such a prospect, even if the exact terms remain unknown.

Any failure on Red Bull's part to find a competitive solution for its engine supply would not only entail its departure from F1, but also the departure of sister outfit Toro Rosso, a state of affairs which could potentially put the sport itself in harms way.

"A partial pull-out with Toro Rosso remaining in F1 is off the table now, too," the article said. "Why should Red Bull want to develop talents like Verstappen and Sainz when there is no possibility to have them make a step internally in the footsteps of Vettel, Ricciardo and Kvyat?"

Given the stakes at hand, the man working the levers behind the curtain, F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, will no doubt be speaking with all parties involved to insure that F1's best interests remain protected.

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