Red Bull have been rather vociferous during what has been a hugely disappointing start to their 2015 campaign. They lie sixth in the constructors standings on just 11 points after two races, with conflicting arguments regarding the reasons behind the downturn in form coming from chassis builder and engine supplier. In short, they are not a group of happy campers at the moment and today, the big boss Deitrich Mateschitz has issued another threat that the drinks manufacturer could pull out of the sport if their fortunes do not turn around soon.
“We will only stay in Formula 1 if we have a competitive team, and we need a competitive power unit for that,” Mateschitz was quoted as saying. As is to be expected, fans have been highly opinionated on the issue, with the majority of comments being negative. A large number of comments that I have seen have referred to Red Bull’s four world championship titles and being sore losers.
However, that is a far too simplistic view.
Fundamentally, Mateschitz is not a racer. That is a fact. As a businessman, it is his job to assess what he is receiving in return for his investment and with Red Bull having slipped down the pecking order, the headline making results are heading to Stuttgart and Mercedes-Benz while the drinks giant is lacking the type of coverage that it enjoyed between 2010 and 2013. Couple this with the fact that global viewing figures for the sport are in decline and it is understandable that Mateschitz would consider heading for the exit door.
However, I doubt that this is anything more than Red Bull looking to flex their political muscle. After all, they have been operating as a manufacturer for some time now. Success in F1 has not come to an end for an outfit which have the experienced personnel and proven abilities that Red Bull do. Mateschitz will, however, have to play a waiting game. The question is, how long is he willing to wait.
Image Credit: "Red Bull F1" By Franck Schnelder via Flickr [CC-BY-2.0]