Formula 1

Formula 1 2021 rules delay revives Red Bull exit threats – F1

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has acknowledged that that his team could exit Formula 1 if it does not agree with the direction of the 2021 rules.

F1 teams have yet to agree a new Concorde Agreement and Liberty Media has made it clear that those who earned preferential deals from Bernie Ecclestone, such as Red Bull, will have to accept a level playing field with payments relating to performance.

Renault has also previously stated its “concern” over the lack of progress towards the planned 2021 overhaul.

Red Bull is wary of budget cap restrictions as it is the only one of the top three teams not linked to a car manufacturer and engine supply and is concerned about how equal the cost cap would be.

Why it’s ’10 past midnight’ on determining F1’s future

Horner admits that Red Bull boss Dietrich Mateschitz could pull the plug if he’s not happy with the shape of F1 in 2021.

Horner told Autosport: “Absolutely. And that’s his right.

“He’s passionate about motorsport, he’s passionate about F1, he’s enthusiastic about the new engine partnership with Honda and the potential that brings.

“But of course F1 has to deliver for the Red Bull brand as well.

“It needs to be exciting, it needs to be cost effective, the racing’s got to be great, and we need to be able to play on an equal and level playing field with OEM and manufacturer teams.

“I think like all of us he’s waiting to see what F1 is post-2020.”

Horner said a strong start to the Honda partnership is not essential to maintaining Mateschitz’s motivation.

“Through good days and bad days he’s always been tremendously supportive, and invested probably more into F1 than any other entity,” said Horner.

“Two F1 teams, a grand prix [in Austria], plus all the promotion that Red Bull does around the world supporting F1, it’s enormous.

“He wouldn’t do that if he didn’t believe in the sport.”

Ecclestone has argued that the lack of a Concorde Agreement means there is a risk that the likes of Red Bull could exit F1.

“The longer they leave it, the more chance there is of some of the teams stopping,” Ecclestone told Autosport.

“Maybe Mercedes will be stuck into Formula E, because they think Formula E is more in line with the way the car industry is going to go.

“Red Bull don’t need to be in it. They get so much publicity from all the other things they do.

“For them if they stopped it’s not going to damage them at all.

“People think Ferrari would never stop, but the Ferrari brand is so, so strong it would be difficult to damage Ferrari. They could easily do something else in motor sport.

“The longer they leave it, the worse it is for everyone – it’s worse for the teams, worse for Liberty.

“From what I understand, nobody has said the most important thing, which is this is what we want to pay you guys. We’d like a much better show, and we’re prepared to pay you this.

“I think if I was a shareholder I’d be happier once all that got put to bed. Five years, everyone’s happy, the teams are happy, the promoters are happy, and get on with it.”

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