Red Bull F1 future rests on Audi

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Former Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo says Red Bull boss Dietrich Mateschitz will walk away from Formula 1 unless he can convince Audi to join the sport.

Red Bull Racing has repeatedly threatened to leave Formula 1 after struggling to be competitive, in part due to the problems with the Renault power unit.

The French manufacturer has also admitted it is considering its future in the sport, and Red Bull has suggested it could be forced out of F1 if Renault leaves, as it would be left without an engine supplier.

Amid speculation linking the Volkswagen group with a move to F1, Montezemolo revealed Mateschitz is trying to lure Audi to join the field.

Speaking with Italian newspaper La Repubblica, Montezemolo said Red Bull has “imploded” this year, adding that he thinks Ferrari has been lucky to regain its form while others have struggled.

“I honestly think they [Ferrari] have been a bit lucky: This year, apart from Mercedes, they have no other rivals,” Montezemolo said.

“Williams has not improved and Red Bull has imploded – I know that Mateschitz is thinking of selling – ‘I either convince Audi to enter or I’m leaving,’ a mutual friend has told me – and McLaren is in crisis…

“In short, Ferrari starts every race with a podium in its pocket. But luck is useless if you don’t take advantage of it.”

Hybrid engine a mistake

Montezemolo also admitted he regrets the decision not to have blocked a move to V6 turbo engines when Ferrari was not prepared enough to be a match for the dominant Mercedes.

“Hybrid engines are the future, but in hindsight it would have been better to oppose them,” he said.

The Italian, who left Ferrari halfway through last season, said he realised early that the team’s engine was not good, and ordered former team boss Stefano Domenicali to switch focus to 2015, a decision he reckons it is now paying dividends.

“I called Domenicali and we started working immediately on 2015,” he said. “We were confident about the chassis: we were back in our new, efficient wind tunnel after years of exile in Toyota’s.”

He added: “But I knew we had worked well ahead of 2015. So the moment when Vettel crossed the finish line at Sepang, I had confirmation that I had not only left a healthy company, but also a competitive team.”