Red Bull is seriously considering quitting Formula 1 according to various sources, including team principal Christian Horner and owner Dietrich Mateschitz, after finding itself without a power unit for 2016.
However that could come at a huge cost according to respected journalist Joe Saward, who reports that the team has an agreement with Formula One Management to remain in the sport until at least 2022.
Should it quit sooner than that, it would face huge financial penalties amounting to £330 million ($500m).
“Dietrich Mateschitz has been walking in the Austrian woods and has been considering pulling out of F1 but that is unlikely to happen because, in exchange for large sums of extra prize money from the Formula One group, Red Bull agreed to stay in the sport for 10 years (until 2022) and there is believed to be a penalty scheme, which means that the penalty for pulling out reduces from $1 billion by $100 million per year,” wrote Saward on his blog.
“This means that Red Bull can walk away from the sport if the company is willing to pay the Formula One group $500 million.”
Saward goes on to suggest it would be a wiser decision to stick with it, reap the marketing benefits and avoid backing itself into difficult situations like it has with current supplier Renault.
“Given the bill, it is best for Mateschitz to keep his money and make the most of the mess the team is in and try not to screw up so monumentally in the future.”
His only escape would be to take control of the sport by buying out CVC Capital Partners majority share, something that would come at great cost, but is something that Mateschitz has looked into before.