Marko: Red Bull ‘the biggest beneficiary’ of 2017 rule changes


Helmut Marko believes Red Bull is “probably the biggest beneficiary” of the rules revolution slated for the 2017 Formula One season.

After dominating the sport from 2010-13, Red Bull lost a step compared to Mercedes and Ferrari with the introduction of 1.6-litre V6 turbocharged power units. Last year, the energy drinks giant repeatedly threatened to quit F1 altogether should the current engine formula persists.

The World Motor Sport Council recently voted in changes to the power unit regulations for 2017, which will see costs reduced and supply guaranteed. However, details about how engine parity - another key issue in the talks - will happen remains up in the air with F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone ready to tear up the agreement if performance convergence is not achieved.

“It is at least a step in the right direction,” Marko told the official Formula 1 website. “But as always, the devil is in the detail. The price from where the reduction should be applied was not fixed. We have variations in engines from 16 million euros (£12.6m) up to 28 million (£22m). That is one issue.

“Then it is still wide open on how the [performance] convergence is going to work: if we really can stay within these three-tenths of a second that’s been calculated then we are okay - but there seems to be no guarantee on that.

“Another issue is, of course, that we have to be supplied with an engine - no matter what else happens - as the independent engine is now definitely off the table.”

Should these details be worked out, Marko is confident that Red Bull is poised to return to winning ways given its proficiency in terms of chassis efficiency.

“All the teams again have the chance to close the gap,” the motorsport advisor added. “Of course we are probably the biggest beneficiary, as in the past when new regulations came in we’ve always been ahead.

“If the gap is no more than three-tenths then we have every chance in the world to do something with our chassis. That would put us back up in a position where we will win races again – and fight for championships again. But again, it all depends on whether everything is done the way it has been written down and decided.”

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