Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has revealed that team owner Dietrich Mateschitz reversed his decision to pull out of Formula 1, because there is “too much at stake”.
Mateschitz threatened to pull both his teams, including sister team Toro Rosso, out of the sport, because they weren’t able to find a competitive engine following a falling out with current supplier Renault.
That doesn’t now seem to be the case, with Red Bull confirming it has signed an engine deal for 2016 – believed to be an unbranded Renault power unit – whilst Toro Rosso is expected to announce a deal to run 2015 Ferrari engines.
Mateschitz was convinced to stay because Red Bull is too heavily invested in the sport, according to Horner.
“It’s no secret that during the summer Dietrich Mateschitz became fairly disillusioned with F1, with the direction things were heading and certain conversations he had personally had didn’t come to fruition,” Horner said in reference to a failed deal to use Mercedes engines.
“He is probably the most committed supporter of F1 over the last 10 years: two grand prix teams, a grand prix on the calendar, the amount of promotion Red Bull puts into F1 worldwide, investing in young talent through the Red Bull young driver programme, more than 1500 employees across the different markets.
“For Red Bull, it’s a major part of their promotional budget spend that is committed to F1,” added the Briton. “Having sat down and thought about it, he’s decided that there is too much at stake.”
Horner warned that whilst he and Mateschitz want to see Red Bull return to its glory days, 2016 will likely be a difficult season with Renault, adding its longer-term hopes rely on the recently stalled plan to introduce an alternative engine.
“Red Bull has invested so much into the sport, he wants to see the team get back to its former glory,” continued Horner.
“In a power unit dominated formula, it’s a difficult situation if you’re not aligned to a competitive power unit.
“The changes Jean Todt and the promoter are pushing for to achieve a more affordable power unit can only be a positive for any independent team, not just Red Bull.”