A couple of months ago, Red Bull Racing were desperate for an engine deal after their falling out with Renault due to this year’s under-performing unit.
After their talks with Mercedes fell apart, they approached Ferrari. The Italians were initially interested, but ended up offering them year-old engines. Before eventually agreed to another deal with Renault under the TAG Heuer umbrella, RBR even negotiated a deal with Honda, though that was blocked almost immediately by McLaren boss Ron Dennis.
Ferrari’s CEO Sergio Marchionne recently opened up and said that his priority was to make sure the Scuderia was in the best possible position to challenge Mercedes for the title, and handing over their power unit to a team as talented as Red Bull would have been counter-productive.
“We had to cope with some uncertainties of our own architecture and we had to bridge the technological gap”, said Marchionne. “So committing to providing an equivalent power unit to a team that has a chassis design technical ability to compete could have been dangerous to Ferrari’s competitiveness. My main commitment is to support and protect Ferrari. I’m not interested in defeating Mercedes with Red Bull.”
Ferrari is one of two teams (the other being Renault) on the grid who build their own engines instead of relying on a supplier like the rest of the field. Handing them out to smaller teams, like Toro Rosso, is one thing; giving them to one of your strong rivals for the title is another.
“If someone says let’s use Ferrari’s engine so we can defeat Mercedes, I’m not interested in that argument”, said Marchionne. “I want Ferrari to win. We know Red Bull’s abilities are good, they destroyed us with Sebastian Vettel and the championships they won.”
It’s hard to argue with that logic. Each one is out there fighting for himself and there’s no prize for second place. Simple as that. Ron Dennis also understands it all very well.
Story references: autosport