Toto Wolff says Mercedes doesn’t have the capacity to supply Red Bull with engines, but at one point the manufacturer was considering a partnership.
Mercedes F1 team boss Toto Wolff reveals the company was considering working with Red Bull back in 2015 when the Austrian team was attempting to end their engine deal with Renault. The idea reached the top levels of Mercedes, but was ultimately rejected.
However, now it’s a different story, as Mercedes doesn’t have the capacity to supply engines to one more outfit (Mercedes already supplies Williams, Racing Point and, next year, McLaren).
“Back then, the idea was that Mercedes and Red Bull could work together on marketing,” said.
“We were interested in the platform that Red Bull provided, as they are a super cool brand and very innovative on what they do.
“This is what I said to Christian [Horner, Red Bull’s team principal], and if we are able to somehow link the two and find an alliance, something on the Daimler board level, would at least allow a proper consideration. But it never came to fruition.
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“Today it is simply a capacity problem. These power units are very complicated. We are in a situation that we can’t just expand continuously, like all of us at Daimler.
“From a logistical point of view, from a cost point of view, it is not possible for us to supply Red Bull with a power unit.
“And from a marketing point of view today, power unit suppliers haven’t benefitted greatly from working with teams.
“This is the reason why we bought the team and why we didn’t stay a power unit supplier, and I think we are reaping the benefits of having a team. It isn’t really our priority to supply engines.
“We build them and we race them in our cars, and obviously to refinance the costs we supply them to customers,” concluded the Austrian.