TRIED HARD TO MAKE IMPACT: Red Bull's Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo finished sixth in his 2015 home race after half the field either pulled out or didn't start.Image: AP / Rob Griffith.
MELBOURNE, Australia - Red Bull has threatened to quit Formula 1.
The team's consultant, Helmut Marko, was quoted by Germany's Auto Motor and Sport magazine on Sunday (March 15 2015) as saying: "We're dissatisfied with the way Formula 1 is governed."
The 2010-13 Formula 1 championship-winning team is furious about its start to the 2015 season with engine partner Renault struggling and Mercedes extending its dominance.
Team boss Christian Horner said Sauber, Ferrari's engine customer, was a perfect example of what was wrong with the current rules. All week the Swiss team has clung to survival in a Melbourne court but on track in Melbourne it was an F1 giant-killer.
"They're using last year's wings," marvelled Horner. "Our new chassis is half a second better than last year. The difference is the engine."
Indeed, Renault has had a terrible start to 2015, despite re-organising its structure during the (northern) winter and re-designing much of its troubled turbo V6 of 2014. Horner, however, claims the team's step was "retrograde", the cars "undriveable".
"To be able to drive at all we have to use 60-75kW power less."
Red Bull is now taking steps to become more involved in Renault's development process, including bringing in the Austrian giant AVL and engine guru Mario Illien, but Marko, designer Adrian Newey and Horner insist the International Automobile Federation also needs to step in for the sake of F1.
"When we were winning," Horner said on Sunday, "double diffusers were banned, exhausts were moved, flexible bodywork was prohibited, engine mapping was changed. Anything."
Newey added: "With Mercedes, nobody says a word."
Horner continued: "I think is it healthy to have a situation where the federation, within the rules, has an equalisation mechanisation. I think perhaps it needs to look at it."
Faced with Horner's 'equalisation' proposal, Mercedes chief Toto Wolff late on Sunday used an unpublishable four-letter word. But even Ferrari, having taken a big step forward during winter, is no longer pushing for big rule changes.
Boss Maurizio Arrivabene said: "Our job is to attack Mercedes on the track, not to change the rules."
Furious Red Bull, meanwhile, issued its quit threat. Marko said: "If the cost-benefit calculation no longer makes sense we've thought about an exit scenario."
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