Inevitably, as the scale of Red Bull’s early season crisis becomes ever clearer, reports of possible splits within the formerly tightly knit championship outfit are now beginning to emerge.
Many of the reigning world champions’ problems are undoubtedly down to engine supplier Renault and the French marque’s struggle with the new V6 turbo ‘power unit’ rules.
So it is no surprise then that Red Bull, having won every title on offer since 2010 and every grand prix since last July, is supposedly on the move.
But Team Principal Christian Horner on Thursday played down reports of a switch to Honda, the incoming supplier of turbo engines to McLaren next year.
It is said that Honda is the logical choice for Red Bull, given the fact Formula 1’s existing engine suppliers, Mercedes and Ferrari, are arch rivals.
But Horner insisted: “There’s still a huge amount of trust [between Red Bull and Renault].
“We’re certainly not looking outside the current agreement that we have,” he told the Telegraph.
Also reported to be eyeing greener grass is world champion Sebastian Vettel, despite Red Bull playing down reports claiming that he recently threw a “hissy fit” when he realised the extent of the team’s 2014 problems.
But with Red Bull so obviously struggling, the Ferrari reports were never going to be far down the road.
Vettel insists: “I’m not a guy who runs away when it gets difficult. That’s the case, both in my work and privately.
“Of course there are always those who want to tell you the grass is greener somewhere else, but we shouldn’t forget the values of honesty, loyalty, the handshake.
“This should apply especially when things are not going your way,” he added.
Vettel said that he refuses to pin all the blame on Renault.
“Everyone has in the past made their mistakes,” said the German, “but we are a team that in the last few years has had so much success and now we are sticking together.”
He said that he is not setting any goals or even expecting the worst next weekend in Australia, where many pundits are tipping a struggle for Vettel to emerge even from the ‘Q1′ qualifying segment.
“Once we are there,” said Vettel, “we will do the best job we can and then adjust our goals accordingly.
“If we are competitive, of course I want to win again,” he told Sport Bild. “But at the moment it makes no sense even to talk about the title.” (GMM)
Subbed by AJN.