Both Red Bull teams are safe, but for how long ?

Scuderia Toro Rosso

Scuderia Toro Rosso

Red Bull’s consultant Helmut Marko came out to quickly reject any suggestions that Red Bull may follow Honda and bow out of Formula 1.

“They are safe right now. But RBR could save 30 percent of their budget.”

I do agree, they are safe, but right now only. By ‘right now’ I mean 2009 season.


I do not think there is much doubt about Toro Rosso and Red Bull being on the grid in Melbourne. But I am afraid that 2009 season may be the last for the Toro Rosso team. The dual operation works out well for Dietrich Mateschitz, at the moment. He has four Red Bull branded cars on the grid, four drivers dressed in Red Bull overals and all this for less money than any other race winning team. The issue however is, Red Bull only builds one car used by 2 teams, fitted with 2 different engines. Both teams get the car from Red Bull Technology so technically one of them runs a customer car. And as the rules stand right now that is a practice they will not be allowed to continue with beyond 2009 season.

Dietrich Mateschitz stated earlier this year that building 2 cars and running to separate teams is not what he had signed for. Red Bull’s share in Toro Rosso was up for sale. It worked out a bit differently and instead of selling his share Mateschitz ended up buying the shares of his partner Gerhard Berger. Berger walked away from the team that in his opinion does not have too bright future lying ahead. Mateschitz now has the entire team to sell.

Despite the current cost saving frenzy it does not look likely there will be any U-turn on the customer car issue. For that to happen all the teams would have to agree. There is only one real opposition left, but that is a proud one that stands firm. Adam Parr, William’s CEO:

“There is the scope for teams to put three cars on the grid and if we have eight teams with three cars, that’s 24 cars which is four more than we have had this year. Even if we went to seven teams, we’d have 21 cars. My opinion is that it is far better to have seven or eight constructors than seven or eight constructors and three or four customer teams. Williams would rather compete on equal terms with constructors and take our chances than mess around with customer teams.”

Adam Parr may be bluffing. But I think he is not and so Red Bull can forget about running two teams with identical cars in 2010. But who would buy a team that has no car to race with in 2010 especially when now there is also Honda on the market ? I am afraid that unless they start building their own cars in Faenza (they would perhaps be able to get away with taking the 2009 Red Bull car as a base of their own 2010 car) they are as good as gone by the end of 2009 season … And who knows, if Mateschitz can’t sell and decides to pull the plug on one of his two teams all the remaining Formula 1 teams may have to run 3 cars. Should not be a problem for a guy used to running four …

4 Comments Post a Comment
  1. KotenokNo Gravatar says:

    I like Adam Parr more and more every day, and just have to say that ever listened about him before HAHA He’s not somebody which we use to see in the races and so, but a good fellow from the team principals, Patrick specially and Frank. That’s a crush then :)

    Kotenoks last blog post..F1Wolf added a video:

  2. zblkhwkNo Gravatar says:

    Red Bull is in a very good position. Bernie can not afford to let them pull out and leave 14 cars. This is the time for them to flex their muscles, get some financial backing from F1, and make some changes to the sport to allow for private teams to be competitive.

    Ultimately, it will be good for the sport to curtail the endless spending of Ferrari and those who wish to challenge them. And I have been a fan of Ferrari for as long as I have been following racing (more than 30 years).

  3. RetirementNo Gravatar says:

    I think that red bul wil not leave formula 1 but there be some probplems for torro rosso in 2009 due to global crises.

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