Red Bull Racing boss Christian Horner has admitted that his team's hopes of luring VW/Audi in to Formula 1 appear to have evaporated, in the wake of the emissions controversy surrounding the German car manufacturer.
Horner had hoped his team would be able to convince VW's bosses about giving the green light to an F1 programme – potentially as early as 2018.
But after the company was engulfed in the scandal surrounding emissions in the United States, Horner has suggested that his team is no longer relying on the move happening.
When asked about the status of the VW situation, Horner told NBC: “That seemed to go up in smoke.”
No lazy threat
Horner has reiterated that he is doing all he can to try to sort out a competitive engine deal for next year, amid quit threats from his bosses.
He has also insisted that his outfit is not just being a sore loser about potentially pulling out if it doesn't get one – as he denied the stance was prompted just because it was not at the front of the grid.
“It is not that we are no longer winning, it is that we are in a position that we cannot compete other than at bespoke circuits like Singapore,” he explained.
“What you have to understand with Red Bull is that having paid for an engine with Renault throughout our relationship as a paying customer, it is unacceptable to get a product as inferior as we have received.
“With the way the regulations are, unless you have a Mercedes or Ferrari power unit it is quite simply impossible to compete.
“And if we are not able to compete, then you have to question what is the validity of remaining in F1.”