Ferrari: Red Bull pace proves engine deal would've been "a mistake"

Red Bull's return to form at the Chinese Grand Prix has proven to Ferrari what a huge 'mistake' it would have been to supply it with engines this year.

Ferrari: Red Bull pace proves engine deal would've been "a mistake"
Sergio Marchionne, Ferrari President and CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles watches the race
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB12 and Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG F1 Team W07 lead at the start of the race
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF16-H and Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF16-H make contact at the start of the race
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB12
Toto Wolff, Mercedes GP Executive Director in the press conference
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB12 and Felipe Massa, Williams FW38
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB12 battle for position with Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 Team W07

The Milton Keynes-based outfit had been pursuing an engine deal with Ferrari after talks with Mercedes collapsed last summer.

But both manufacturers were reluctant to get involved with a deal because of competitive concerns, and in the end Red Bull did a deal to run rebranded Renault engines.

Having started the season stronger than it expected, Red Bull took spot on the front row in China with Daniel Ricciardo and ended Mercedes and Ferrari's lock out of the podium finishes with Daniil Kvyat.

For Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne, the fact that Red Bull has already shown potential to beat it with a less powerful engine, proves that his company was right to block an engine deal.

"We would have made an enormous mistake," explained Marchionne about the prospect of having supplied Red Bull with engines.

"That said, they should not be in front of us, and this confirms the mistakes made [in qualifying]."

Three-way fight

Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff had been adamant from the outset that a deal with Red Bull was not in his team's best interests.

But after seeing what Red Bull was capable in China, as Ricciardo led early on, he actually welcomed the possibility of a three-way fight for wins from now on – because it could help hold Ferrari back

"If you look at the pace they have [in the race], it is very strong," he said. "It would be good if they bounce back, considering that Ricciardo lost his race with the puncture.

"You can imagine that he would have given Vettel quite some competition. So looking at this weekend, they seem to have gained quite some performance."

Additional reporting by Roberto Chinchero

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