Red Bull Racing will quit Formula 1 if they cannot get a competitive engine deal sorted sooner rather than later but hope Audi could step in to help.
The 2010, ‘11, ‘12 and ‘13 World Champions have slipped down the order this season and have grown ever-more frustrated with engine supplier Renault for their lack of progress.
Limited to just four engines for the 19-race season, Daniel Ricciardo is already onto his fourth after reliability issues have caused havoc at the team in the opening five races.
The team’s motorsport adviser Helmut Marko said Red Bull were interested in doing a deal that would see Audi enter F1.
“If we don’t have a competitive engine in the near future, then either Audi is coming or we are out,” he said.
VW Group chairman Ferdinand Piech, a staunch opposer to F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, resigned from his post last month, opening the door to the possibility for a VW brand, of which Audi is included, to appear on an F1 grid.
Marko added: “There are so many rumours. Officially there was no request or talks.
“The VW Group first has to sort out who will be the new chief of support, who will run the brand of VW, and when they have sorted all these things maybe then they can think about what they are doing in motorsport.”
The team’s problems this season all seem to stem from Renault’s lack of understanding with the hybrid engines introduced to the sport in 2014.
Lacking out-right pace, reliability and quality, Marko acknowledges Red Bull have to work with Renault to overcome their problems.
He said: “I hope the reliability issues are solved pretty soon because it is really depressing how much we are losing on the straights.”
“Renault see the problems themselves and we have to try and find out these problems together.
“It is not only reliability, it is also that we did not run most of the practice sessions because of other issues. It is also a quality problem.”