Red Bull had F1 talks with VW before emissions scandal

Fri Oct 23, 2015 8:57pm EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - Red Bull were talking to Volkswagen about a Formula One partnership before a diesel emissions scandal seemingly scuppered plans, team boss Christian Horner said on Friday.

"There has been discussion with the VW Group which obviously ... with their current issues probably Formula One is the last thing on their mind," he told reporters at the U.S. Grand Prix, Red Bull's 200th race.

"There were other discussions that will become apparent no doubt in the future as well, other promises that were made," added the boss, whose team still have no confirmed engine partner for next year.

"There’s an awful lot of speculation and conjecture about our situation at the moment. Once everything is finalised I’m sure it will all become extremely clear."

Red Bull, who won four drivers and constructors' championships in a row between 2010 and 2013 with Renault, have been casting around for a new engine after that relationship broke down.

Germany's Auto Bild reported last month that Volkswagen-owned Audi were close to a deal to take over Red Bull's team and run it with sponsorship from the Austrian energy drink company.

The magazine said the deal had been approved by company bosses and just needed signing.

Shortly afterwards Volkswagen, Europe's biggest carmaker, admitted to rigging U.S. diesel emissions tests and said banned software could be inside up to 11 million vehicles worldwide.   Continued...

Formula One - F1 - United States Grand Prix 2015 - Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas, United States of America - 23/10/15
Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner during a press conference
Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Hoch Zwei