Red Bull Racing advisor Helmut Marko claims that the team is still yet to formally agree an engine deal for the 2016 Formula 1 season after being “fooled around” by possible partners earlier in the year.
Red Bull expressed a desire to cut ties with current power unit supplier Renault earlier in the year, but looks set to agree a new deal that will see its relationship with the French manufacturer continue into 2016.
Earlier this week, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner claimed that an engine supply had been agreed for next year, but Marko’s most recent comments in an interview with the official F1 website suggest otherwise.
“I tell you: nothing is fixed at this very moment,” Marko said. “A car is nothing without an engine – that is the sad truth, otherwise we would be on the sunny side already!
“But a decision should be made this weekend – either Saturday night or Sunday. That makes still one more day to bargain.
“In this ‘game’, as you call it, we are passengers. We can’t influence what is going on at the moment. With our financial involvement in the sport that is a very dissatisfying situation.”
Marko said that Red Bull’s billionaire owner, Dietrich Mateschitz, had to be very patient because of promises broken by other engine suppliers, hinting at the breakdown in talks with Mercedes.
“He is so patient because we have been fooled around,” Marko said.
“We had deals and promises for engines which in the end didn’t come true.”
Red Bull is known to have thought it had agreed a deal with Mercedes, only for the German marque to reject it on competition grounds.
Ferrari offered Red Bull 2015-spec power units for 2016, and although this was turned down, Toro Rosso is understood to be in line to take these on.
Honda also discussed an engine deal with Red Bull, only for McLaren CEO Ron Dennis to veto any possible supply.
“It was fully supported by Honda that we didn’t have the capacity to engage another team, but someone had to stand up and say ‘this is not going to happen’,” Dennis is quoted as saying by Autosport in Abu Dhabi.
“This wasn’t me countering a desire of Honda, this was me taking responsibility for a decision, which goes with the job.”