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.”

Andretti United team names drivers for inaugural Extreme E season

Extreme E drivers Andretti
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The Extreme E team formed by Andretti Autosport and United Autosports named Catie Munnings and Timmy Hansen as its drivers Monday for the series’ inaugural 2021 season.

Munnings is a successful veteran of rally series. Hansen is a past winner and champion in the World Rallycross Championship.

They both will race in the environmentally conscious electric SUV series that will hold events in five areas around the world that are threatened by climate change. Chip Ganassi Racing and six-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton also are fielding cars in Extreme E, which will feature male and female co-drivers on every team.

Catie Munnings

“I’m so excited to join Andretti United Extreme E,” Munnings said in a release. ““I was really intrigued when I first heard about Extreme E, I just knew I had to be involved. The male / female racing partnership is a fantastic and exciting new concept. The season has incredible locations and the racing will be very exciting. It will be a new challenge for the teams and drivers, and I’m so thrilled to be working with such a strong team.

“The championship is a really innovative concept, it’s combining motorsport and science and will produce an important legacy in each race location. Bringing the platform that motorsport has in line with the awareness that the planet needs right now is awesome and a really important message.”

Timmy Hansen

Said Hansen: “Going into the Extreme E will be a new chapter in my career, one that I am extremely excited about. It is something brand new, not only for me, but the whole of motorsport. The format is something

we’ve never seen before. I’m also delighted to be able to carry the message of something bigger – talking about the environment and doing something good for the world – that’s something that really drives me. It’s going to be a big adventure in life to see these locations and I’m going to do my best in carrying this responsibility and hopefully making people aware of the challenges we have in the world, together with our passion for racing.”