Horner: F1's 'sleeping dogs' woken up to sport's problems

Red Bull boss Christian Horner has faith that his team will not face a repeat crisis in trying to find an engine after next year, now that Formula 1's 'sleeping dogs' have woken up about the problems the sport is facing.

Horner: F1's 'sleeping dogs' woken up to sport's problems
(L to R): Christian Horner, Red Bull Racing Team Principal with Dr Helmut Marko, Red Bull Motorsport Consultant and Jerome Stoll, Renault Sport F1 President
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing
Red Bull Racing, Renault Sport F1 29
Christian Horner, Red Bull Racing Team Principal and Cyril Abiteboul, Renault Sport F1 Managing Director in the FIA Press Conference
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB11
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing
Christian Horner, Red Bull Racing Team Principal and Toto Wolff, Mercedes AMG F1 Shareholder and Executive Director in the FIA Press Conference
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB11
Christian Horner, Red Bull Racing Team Principal with Jonathan Noble, Motorsport.com Editor

The Milton Keynes-based outfit was only able to confirm its engine plans for next year after the season finale in Abu Dhabi, with it running TAG Heuer-badged Renaults in 2016.

It came after months of uncertainty, as the team considered quitting F1 altogether if it could not secure a competitive power unit.

Although Red Bull's deal to run rebranded Renault engines is only for next year, Horner is confident that the team will not face repeat woes in trying to nail a power unit contract for 2017.

"We are in much better shape," said Horner, when asked by Motorsport.com about if he was worried about a repeat drama in the chase for an engine in 12 month's time.

"I think the sleeping dogs have woken up that there is a major issue – financially and in supply terms about what we currently face in F1.

"How much longer will Honda stick around with the current performance they have got? How are you going to entice new manufacturers in to the sport? How long can F1 cope with the costs where they are? Solutions need to be found."

He added: "The great thing is we are on the grid next season. There is no uncertainty about that, and we will be in a better position than we were this year.

"I think a lot of things are going to change. The FIA are all over this now. Jean Todt, in fairness to him, is puffing his chest out that he wants to sort this out and he seems like a man on a mission."

Bright future

While Horner accepts that the lateness of its deal with Renault coming together means the team may face a difficult start to 2016, he has reason to be confident for the longer term.

"I think the beginning of the year will be tough for us," he said. "And then hopefully we will make progress through the second half of the year. But for sure the beginning of next year will be tough."

Looking ahead to 2017, he said that the team could be better off not having an engine deal in place for then – as overall competitiveness of the different manufacturers could have changed.

"This time last year, the Ferrari engine looked the worst of the three – so things can change very quickly," he said. "Let's see what happens over the next three or four months.

"I think 2017 represents a whole new beginning, because there will be either an independent or manufacturer engine available,

"There is a new set of chassis regulations which is another opportunity for the group to grab hold of a clean sheet of paper.

"So I think the future looks bright for the team. We've signed some great partners for the future. And so, I think we are in good shape."

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