Red Bull says F1 teams are safe
|By Jonathan Noble and Gerhard Kuntschik
||Monday, December 8th 2008, 14:09 GMT
Red Bull's motorsport advisor Helmut Marko says there are no questions marks about the future of the two energy drinks giants' teams in Formula One, despite speculation over the weekend suggesting they could follow Honda out of the sport.
Although Marko concedes that the sport's financial situation is not as good as it once was, he says that rumours of Red Bull Racing or Scuderia Toro Rosso quitting F1 are wide of the mark.
Speaking about the future of the two teams, Marko said: "They are safe right now. But RBR could save 30 percent of their budget."
Toro Rosso's ability to cut their finances by a similar margin are limited by the fact that they already have lower operating costs because they run a car supplied by Red Bull Technology.
The confirmation of Red Bull's commitment comes with other teams having made it clear that they too will be staying in F1.
Toyota issued a statement on Friday saying they were in F1 for the long-term, while BMW board member Dr. Klaus Dreager said that being involved in grand prix racing was a key element of their business strategy.
"It is with regret that we learnt of Honda's decision," said Dreager. "It has no bearing on BMW's involvement in Formula One.
"Our F1 involvement is an integral part of the company strategy. There is no better platform than Formula One for demonstrating our brand values. BMW, moreover, makes targeted use of the Formula One project as a technology accelerator for series production."
BMW's statement was followed by Mercedes-Benz putting forward similar sentiments.
The company's motorsport boss Norbert Haug said: "Within the Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA) we're working very hard on measures to cut costs, and over the next two years we must achieve cuts of at least 50 percent.
"Our Formula One involvement is built on financially solid foundations and is in large part financed by our sponsoring partners."