Red Bull eyes independent engine supplier for future

Dr Helmut Marko has played down early links between Red Bull and Volkswagen brands interested in entering F1 in the future.

That is despite the fact Marko said Red Bull is now basically ready to take on Mercedes and Ferrari for the title, with the only missing link being a top engine.

"From a technical point of view, the chassis is at a very high level compared to Ferrari and Mercedes," he told Welt newspaper in Hungary.

"Our engine partner Renault is making continuous progress, which means that Red Bull will win one or two races on its own strength this year," he added.

It is an awkward situation for Red Bull, with Max Verstappen being courted behind the scenes by Ferrari but the Dutchman locked into a contract for 2018 and 2019.

"The bottom line is that Max ranks among the best drivers in the world," said Marko.

"How he will react under the pressure of the world championship is harder to judge. What we have seen from his five technical failures this year is that he absolutely wants to win everything and has not enough discipline for the negative events.

"But he will learn that," he insisted.

For now, it might make sense for Red Bull to kick off talks with a VW brand like Porsche, which is reportedly interested in joining F1 for the post-2020 engine rules.

But Marko said: "For us it is currently more important that independent engine manufacturers such as Aston Martin, Cosworth or Illien are present in the negotiations.

"What we see with Honda is that even with the highest financial and personnel expenditure, it is not possible to have success with these very complex engine regulations."

(GMM)

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