Report: Ferrari open to supplying engines to Red Bull

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Ferrari chairman Sergio Marchionne has said that he is open to supplying engines to Red Bull Racing in the future should the team opt to cut ties with Renault.

Red Bull has openly criticized Renault on a number of occasions throughout the 2014 season for supplying an under-performing engine, which has left the team struggling in the midfield.

Brand owner Dietrich Mateschitz has even gone as far as issuing a quit threat, and said last week that he was losing interest in Formula 1.

The team’s current deal with Renault expires at the end of the 2016 season, but the French marque is known to be considering its own future in the sport, with a decision to be made by the end of the year.

As a result, a possible switch back to Ferrari engines has been mooted by some members of the paddock, with Red Bull last being powered by the Italian marque in 2006. Its B-team, Toro Rosso, had Ferrari engines until 2014.

Speaking to reporters ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix last weekend, Marchionne (pictured) confirmed that he would be open to supplying Red Bull with engines in the future.

“I have a lot of respect for Red Bull,” Marchionne is quoted as saying by Reuters.

“I think they’ve done a lot for the sport, they’ve had the world championship for a number of years. I think they will find their way again.

“If we can help them get there, we’d be more than glad to do it.

“I talk to everybody. It’s in our DNA, we’ve done it before. I think we can provide engines to any of the teams that want to race.”

Although Ferrari would perhaps be a better alternative to Renault for Red Bull right now, the move would see the team give up a great deal of control over its power unit to the Italian marque.

Given that Renault only supplies Red Bull and Toro Rosso, its partnership is more akin to that of a works team. If Red Bull were to move to Ferrari power units, though, it would once again be a customer team and would not enjoy any kind of power advantage.

Lewis Hamilton receives Daytona 500 invitation from Bubba Wallace

Lewis Hamilton Bubba Wallace
Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images
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Lewis Hamilton is a fan of the new NASCAR Cup Series team formed by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan to field a car for Bubba Wallace.

Will the six-time Formula One champion also be a fan in person at a NASCAR race in the near future?

Wallace is hoping so.

After Hamilton tweeted his support Tuesday morning about the news of a Hamlin-Jordan-Wallace team making its debut with the 2021 season, Wallace responded with a sly invitation to the Daytona 500.

Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

But it would seem fitting given that Hamilton and Wallace have been two of the world’s most outspoken Black athletes about the quest for diversity and racial justice. Hamilton recently reaffirmed his commitment to activism after his donning a Breonna Taylor shirt sparked an FIA inquiry.

The idea of Hamilton attending the season opener already had legs, too. The Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 driver has expressed a desire to race the Daytona 500 after he has retired from Formula One.

He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.

Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it only would be fitting if Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — spent some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.

Jeff Gordon was flanked by Mario Andretti and Lewis Hamilton before the 2015 Cup season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images).