Marko dismisses rumors of Red Bull selling to Audi

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Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko has dismissed speculation of a possible sale of the team to Audi in the near future despite admitting that it is “significantly behind Mercedes” in 2015.

Following a disastrous performance at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix in March, Marko said that Red Bull could quit Formula 1 altogether if changes were not made to the sport.

With Audi and Renault thought to be considering entry to F1 with works teams, Red Bull and Toro Rosso were tipped as possible operations that could be bought by the manufacturing giants.

However, in an interview with the official Formula 1 website, Marko rejected speculation of an Audi buy-out of Red Bull, and said the team would not be able to change engine supplier until 2017 at the earliest.

“I answer with the words of [Red Bull owner] Dietrich Mateschitz: there haven’t been talks nor are we commencing a winter sale, referring to the three hundred million that is hanging in the air as a sale price,” Marko said.

“We have a contract with Renault until the end of 2016. A new engine manufacturer surely will wait to see what is possible within the rules in 2017.

“This decision of what is possible in 2017 has to be made soon as every new manufacturer needs lead-time for development. I would imagine at least two years.”

Marko’s grievances in Australia stemmed from the lack of power being provided by the Renault power unit that Red Bull uses, giving the team little chance of competing with pace-setters Mercedes.

The Austrian claims that the team may not be able to challenge the Silver Arrows in F1 again until the regulations are changed due to their restrictive nature.

“We are significantly behind Mercedes,” Marko said. “They clearly dominate. The complexity of the units: IC engine, hybrid, MGU-K, MGU-H, and bringing all these systems together, and then adding driveability to it – that makes the best product and that is clearly the case with Mercedes.

“But because the rules are not open it means that you are only allowed to make changes on a very limited scale which makes it very difficult, if not impossible, to catch up.”

Final 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona results, points

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — The 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona overall results were all streaks: two consecutive victories in the endurance classic for Meyer Shank Racing and three in a row for Acura.

And Helio Castroneves became the second driver to win three consecutive Rolex 24s and the first to win in three straight years (Peter Gregg won in 1973, ’75 and ’76; the race wasn’t held in ’74 because of a global oil crisis).

Starting from the pole position, Tom Blomqvist took the checkered flag in the No. 60 ARX-06 that led a race-high 365 of 783 laps with co-drivers Castroneves, Simon Pagenaud and Colin Braun.

RESULTS: Click here for the finishing order in the 61st Rolex 24 at Daytona l By class

POINTS: Standings after Rolex 24 at Daytona l Michelin Endurance Cup standings l Daytona endurance points

Meyer Shank Racing now has two Rolex 24 victories and the 2022 championship since entering the premier prototype category of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2021.

“I think what’s so special about this team is we are a small team compared to some of our opponents, but the atmosphere, the way we work, enables people to get the best out of themselves, and I think that’s why we’re such high achievers,” Blomqvist said. “I think there’s no egos. It’s a very open book, and that just enables each and every one of us to reach our potential. I think that’s why we’ve achieved so much success in really a short time at this level of competition.”

It’s the 16th IMSA victory for MSR.

The 61st running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona marked the debut of the Grand Touring Prototype category that brought hybrid engine technology to IMSA’s top level.

In other categories:

LMP2: James Allen passed Ben Hanley on the final lap and delivered a victory in the No. 55 ORECA by 0.016 seconds. It’s the second IMSA victory for Proton Competition, which last won at Sebring in 2012. It was the first Rolex 24 victory for Allen and co-drivers Gianmaria Bruni, Fred Poordad and Francesco Pizzi.

GTD Pro: Cooper MacNeil won in the last start of his IMSA career as the No. 79 Mercedes-AMG GT3 scored the first Rolex 24 at Daytona for WeatherTech Racing and the team’s fourth career victory.

MacNeil, who co-drove with Maro Engel, Jules Gounon and Daniel Juncadella, earned his 12th career victory and first at the Rolex 24.

“Winning by last IMSA race is tremendous,” MacNeil said.

GTD: The No. 27 Heart of Racing Team delivered the first Rolex 24 at Daytona for Aston Martin, which has been competing in endurance races at Daytona International Speedway since 1964. Drivers Marco Sorensen, Roman De Angelis, Darren Turner and Ian James (also the team principal) earned the victory in the English brand’s 13th attempt.

It’s also the first Rolex 24 at Daytona win for Heart of Racing, which has seven IMSA wins.

LMP3: Anthony Mantella, Wayne Boyd, Nico Varrone and Thomas Merrill drove the No. 17 AWA Duqueine D08 to victory by 12 laps for the team’s first class win in IMSA.


STATS PACKAGE FOR ROLEX 24 HOURS OF DAYTONA:

Fastest laps by driver

Fastest laps by driver after race (over the weekend)

Fastest laps by driver and class after race

Fastest lap sequence

Lap chart

Leader sequence

Race analysis by lap

Stint analysis

Time cards

Pit stop time cards

Best sector times

Race distance and speed average

Flag analysis

Weather report

NEXT: The 2023 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season will resume with the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring March 18 with coverage across NBC, USA and Peacock.