The confirmation letter from the FIA to the teams was only a matter of form. Nonetheless, Red Bull Motorsport Director Helmut Marko (77) is happy to have the final green light for the first two Formula 1 races at the Red Bull Ring. On July 5th and 12th the season start of is to take place in Spielberg.
Marko to F1-Insider.com: “The preparations are going perfectly. Now all you have to do is keep your fingers crossed so that nothing in the infection numbers of the corona virus changes drastically.”
However: Not only because of the courageous initiative to organize the races on their own ring in Styria, the beverage company has recently been the focus of speculation. Rumors kept popping up that Renault driver Daniel Ricciardo (30) could return to Red Bull in 2021 and replace the Thai Alexander Albon (24) there.
Ricciardos Renault extension not a sure-fire success
Background: Ricciardo’s Renault contract expires at the end of this year. It’s no secret that the Australian, who drove at Red Bull Racing from 2014 to 2018, is looking for alternatives. And also has to do so. Reason: Renault is not exactly rolling out the red carpet for an extension.
Team principal Cyril Abiteboul says: “We want to keep Daniel, but on the right basis, on a basis that both parties share. It’s about the project. Will we succeed? May we allow ourselves a little more self-confidence than in 2019? Does he adapt better to the team? If we both have the feeling that this is a project that you can permanently commit to, why not extend it?”
But the Australian cannot wave the Red Bull comeback card in his negotiations with Renault. Helmut Marko on F1-Insider.com: “If Alex Albon performs as he did last year – and I strongly expect that – he will stay. That’s why Ricciardo has almost no chance. Only if Albon has a total slump for some reason will we think about other pilots. But that doesn’t just include Ricciardo. ”
Pierre Gasly, who was returned to the junior team Toro Rosso in 2019 by Red Bull, could then have a second chance just like the Russian Daniil Kvyat (also Toro Rosso and formerly Red Bull).
Speculations about future of Horner
Also another speculation about Red Bull is currently causing raised eyebrows in the Formula 1 scene. According to this, team boss Christian Horner is to be replaced. Not true, Marko reveals: “There is nothing there. We want to keep Mr. Horner, of course. The only thing that has happened recently: Horner was against the planned budget reduction, which is helping all teams to save money. But we were in favor. Therefore, there was a brief disagreement.”
The budgets of all teams are to be limited to $ 145 million from 2021. However, the value was only lowered so far by the Corona crisis. The original target was 175 million euros.