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Red Bull demands Ferrari engine parity to stay in F1

Daniel Kalisz/Sutton Images

Red Bull has reiterated its recent Formula One quit threat and says it will only stay in the sport next year if it is guaranteed engine performance parity in a deal with Ferrari.

During the Singapore Grand Prix weekend Red Bull adviser Helmut Marko said the company has already decided to pull out of F1 if it cannot secure a competitive engine for next season. It comes after breakdown of the team's relationship with Renault this season, which appears set to end in a premature divorce.

After Mercedes decided not to supply Red Bull with engines talks with Ferrari about a customer deal for 2016 are continuing, while rumours have surfaced recently about a future tie-up with Volkswagen. In a publication in Red Bull media platform Speedweek entitled "Formula One withdrawal taking shape" the company appears to lay down the conditions for staying in the sport.

The story reads: "For those among us who have listened closely to what Red Bull chief Dietrich Mateschitz and his motor sports consultant Dr. Helmut Marko said recently and who interpret it correctly and put together one and one, a clear scenario emerges: Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso will pull out of Formula One after the 2015 season."

It goes on to lay down the conditions Red Bull would expect from a potential tie-up with Ferrari, which currently supplies Sauber and Manor and has a technical partnership with 2016 debutants Haas. Ferrari is the only team other than Mercedes to win a race this year, with victories in Malaysia, Hungary and Singapore.

"Red Bull doesn't want to have customer engines that have 30 to 40 [b]hp less and can be manipulated by the constructor in case of the customer team endangering the works team ... Red Bull would like to continue in F1 only if Ferrari is willing to provide true works engines that are on the same level as the engines of [Sebastian] Vettel and [Kimi] Raikkonen."

It then quotes Mateschitz as saying: "As a customer team you will only get an engine that is good enough to take away points from their immediate rivals. But this engine will never be good enough to beat the works team. With such a customer engine we will never be world champion again. And if that's the case we lose interest."

The article also states Red Bull's contract with Renault for 2016 has already been terminated, news which is widely expected but has not yet been confirmed by either party.