Mateschitz criticises Renault, writes off 2009 title

Dietrich Mateschitz has contradicted Red Bull Racing's boss and drivers by admitting that the team's 2009 world champion challenge is now over. With a poor race at Monza on Sunday, Sebastian Vettel dropped to 26 points behind drivers' leader ...

Dietrich Mateschitz has contradicted Red Bull Racing's boss and drivers by admitting that the team's 2009 world champion challenge is now over.

With a poor race at Monza on Sunday, Sebastian Vettel dropped to 26 points behind drivers' leader Jenson Button, while Red Bull now trails Brawn by more than 40 points with just 4 races to run.

Asked by the Austrian newspaper Salzburger Nachrichten if Red Bull's challenge is over, the team owner Mateschitz answered: "Actually it was (over) even before Monza.

"It's because our engine is inferior and the fact the rules limit each driver to eight engines for the year."

In a further dig at Red Bull's current engine supplier Renault, Mateschitz suggested that he expects Vettel to have to take a ten-position grid drop later this season for using a ninth engine.

"Of course, a race victory is not impossible, but that we can achieve upper positions with our two drivers four times is not expected," the billionaire added.

"From now we can't even drive much in the practice sessions because we have no spare engines, which is a strange competitive condition."

Red Bull is expected to switch to Mercedes power for next year, but Auto Motor und Sport on Monday suggested that contact has also been made with Ferrari.

A final decision is expected imminently.

Asked whether he is satisfied with the performance of Red Bull Racing in 2009, Mateschitz answered: "Sure. Our improvement this year was tremendous.

"But the best car and the best driver alone is sometimes not enough," he added.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jenson Button , Sebastian Vettel
Teams Ferrari , Red Bull Racing , Mercedes