Ferrari open to supplying Red Bull with power units

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Maurizio Arrivabene has said that Ferrari is open to supplying Red Bull with power units for the 2015 Formula 1 season as the Austrian team’s relationship with Renault continues to sour.

After winning eight world championships between 2010 and 2013, Red Bull hit rocky ground in 2014 as its new Renault V6 turbo power unit failed to keep up with that of championship winners Mercedes.

In 2015, the crisis quickly deepened as Ferrari and Williams overtook Red Bull in the pecking order, prompting team owner Dietrich Mateschitz to threaten to leave the sport.

Red Bull and Renault’s contract expires at the end of the 2016 season, but according to a report from Autosport, this will be terminated one year early. The same publication reports that Mercedes has also rejected picking up the contract for fears of increased competition.

In turn, this has left Ferrari as the only realistic engine supplier for Red Bull in 2016, and Arrivabene hinted that he would be open to a deal in spite of the competition.

“Red Bull have big names, with Adrian Newey as chief designer, and it is easy to think if you give them the engine they will build a scary chassis, which means they will be really competitive,” he told The Guardian.

“My team, my engineers and aerodynamicists know their jobs. For that reason I don’t have a problem and competition is nice when you have a stronger competitor.

“This doesn’t mean tomorrow morning we will give our engines to Red Bull but I don’t see any problem to give our engine to any other team or be scared of the competition before they start. This is not the right spirit of competition, of what Ferrari represents. We fight with everybody.”

Renault is known to be in discussions with Lotus over a possible buy-out and revival of its works team for 2016, but a deal is yet to be struck between the two parties.

No official word has been issued yet about a split with Red Bull for 2016 either, with Christian Horner confirming at Monza last weekend that the team still has an agreement in place, albeit subject to conditions.

“Sitting here today we still have a contract with Renault,” Horner said. “To my knowledge I’ve not had any discussion with Ferrari – unless Maurizio can tell me differently.

“But we’ve got an agreement with Renault as I say, we’ve got conditions within that agreement that aren’t privy to this group here and time will tell in terms of what their future holds for them. So hopefully something will be forthcoming in the near future.”

Oddly, engine silly season is proving to be far more interesting than the driver silly season in 2015. Questions about Renault’s future affect Lotus, Red Bull and Toro Rosso, whilst Manor is also reported to be considering a switch to Mercedes power units for 2016.

Should Manor sign a deal with the world champions, it would most probably pave the way for Pascal Wehrlein to move from DTM into F1 in 2016, replacing either Will Stevens or Roberto Merhi.

Ken Roczen signs with HEP Progressive Ecstar Suzuki for 2023

Roczen Progressive Ecstar Suzuki
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ANAHEIM, California – Ken Roczen will make the move from HRC Honda to H.E.P. Motorsports with the Progressive Ecstar Suzuki team, ending a long and eventful offseason that saw his split from his longstanding team after he committed to running World Supercross (WSX).

“H.E.P. Motorsports is thrilled to announce that the team has signed Ken Roczen as its premier rider for the 2023 season,” the team announced on Instagram. “Former AMA Motocross champion Roczen will be aboard a Suzuki RM-Z450. Roczen, who won his most recent championship on a Suzuki, will be reunited with the brand and bring his exciting style, determination, and grit back to the RM Army.

“Ken Roczen will compete in the upcoming 2023 Supercross and Motocross Championship series which is set to start on January 7 at Anaheim Stadium in Southern California.”

For Roczen, it is a return to the bike of his youth and on which he had some of his greatest professional success.

“This thing has been going on for weeks and weeks and weeks in the making, but there was so much uncertainty,” Roczen told NBC Sports during Monster Energy Supercross Media Sessions. “It was a very unique situation. I just finally signed two nights ago, so it’s really only legit once the ink hits the paper. It’s been in the works for a long time, but there were just a lot of questions and a lot of input from a lot of other teams too.

“Good things take time, and I’m okay with that. I grew up riding Suzuki. Ot’s like a homecoming. It’s a special feeling”

Roczen won the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship on a Suzuki before making the move to Honda. That year he won nine of 12 Nationals and finished no worse than second as he easily outpaced Eli Tomac by 86 points. He finished third in his next Pro Motocross outing in 2018 after sitting out the outdoor season in 2017.

“I am beyond excited to reconnect with Suzuki for the 3rd time in my career. We’ve had a lot of success in the past and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish together in our future.” Roczen said in the Instagram post.