‘We Should Do Everything’- Mercedes’ Toto Wolff Sends a Message to F1 Rivals Boosting Red Bull Racing’s Ambitions

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The 2021 F1 season is approaching fast. Apart from Lewis Hamilton’s pending contract, there are quite a few things that are pending as we move towards the next season.

One such thing is the concept of engine freeze, strongly advocated by Red Bull Racing. In relation to this, Toto Wolff made a surprising statement, agreeing to do whatever it takes to keep their rivals interested in Formula One.

Red Bull Racing won’t have Honda supplying them with engines after the coming season, and hence engine freeze is particularly important for them considering whatever alternatives they might be thinking.

AUTODROMO NAZIONALE, MONZA, ITALY – 2019/09/07: Team Principal of Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport Executive Director Torger Christian Toto Wolff in the paddock during the F1 Grand Prix of Italy. (Photo by Marco Canoniero/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Wolff, being asked about Mercedes supplying engines to Red Bull, said, “No, For various reasons, but the main being that we are supplying four teams [from 2021: Mercedes, Aston Martin, Williams, and McLaren], including us.

“We are almost in a state that we can’t make power units for all of us, so there is no capacity.” as quoted from the official Formula One website.

Double the pressure

The Red F1 team not only needs to worry about themselves but also their sister team, the newly rebranded Alpha Tauri, who also are being supplied power units by Honda.

The options are limited for the two teams as they might have to look towards Ferrari or Renault to back them up with power units. If this also fails, they might just take over Honda’s F1 power unit division and prepare their own engine.

Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly during practice Bryn Lennon/Pool via REUTERS

However, Toto Wolff is in favor of having an engine development freeze so that Red Bull doesn’t fall into a hugely expensive program for development.

He said, “Well, I think Formula 1 is in a good state with three engine suppliers… potentially four, and I totally understand where Red Bull are coming from.”

He added, “They don’t want to go back to customer status, they want to be a works team, and they have the capability of tweaking it and maybe optimizing it, and maybe there are a few things in the pipeline from Honda that are giving them confidence that there is more performance in the engine.

“But I think we should do everything to give Red Bull that opportunity,” as quoted from the official Formula One website.

Not a lot of choices for Red Bull

Red Bull F1 Team Boss, Christian Horner said, “Well there are no new manufacturers lining up in Formula 1, I think Toto in his earlier conferences obviously made it clear that Mercedes are not keen to supply an engine, so that limits your choice to therefore two current suppliers in the sport.” 

Time is running out for the two teams. Whatever they decide, they have to decide fast.

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