Marko: Red Bull won’t race in 2016 without competitive engine

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Helmut Marko has issued the latest in a long line of quit threats from Red Bull, saying that the team will not race in Formula 1 next year unless it has a competitive engine.

Red Bull’s relationship with current power unit supplier Renault has soured over the past two years as the French marque’s shortcomings have resulted in a dramatic dip in form on-track.

Both Red Bull and Renault have agreed not to work together in 2016 despite their agreement running until the end of next season. Renault has stated that it will either revive its works team by buying out Lotus, or quit F1 altogether.

As a result, Red Bull has been left in need of an engine contract for 2016. Mercedes has already rejected working with the team for fear of increased competition, leaving Ferrari as the only realistic alternative.

Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene said at Monza that he would be open to helping Red Bull, but its demands for an engine equal to that of the works team, combined with Daniel Ricciardo’s performance in Singapore last weekend, may have prompted the bosses at Maranello to think twice.

Speaking to the official F1 website, Red Bull advisor Marko said that the brand could quit F1 altogether if it does not get an engine deal in place for 2016, which would also include the exit of its Toro Rosso b-team.

“There is an option to stop F1,” Marko admitted. “If we don’t have an engine that allows us to compete at the very front we will prefer to stop.

“The curtain may go down after Abu Dhabi. That is Mr. [Dietrich] Mateschitz’s opinion. He knows that it costs the same amount of money to race at the front or, like we are now doing, in the ‘premium midfield’ – and he is not willing to do that for another season.”

Marko also responded to rumors of a possible entry by Volkswagen to F1 in the future, with reports over the Singapore Grand Prix weekend claiming that a deal between the two parties was close.

“I don’t think that they have a ready engine concept in their drawers,” Marko said, agreeing to Audi motorsport boss Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich’s comments to MotorSportsTalk last month.

“Yes, the rumours are there – and, of course, it would be great if another engine manufacturer would join. But right now that is all crystal ball reading.”

Final 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona results, stats

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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

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.