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Red Bull: No Political Link with Ferrari

Red Bull Racing have said that their new customer engine deal with Ferrari does not mean that they are now politically linked with the Maranello outfit - even though they recently broke ranks with the 'Group of Nine' to attend a rules meeting with the FIA

The Milton Keynes-based team announced at Imola on Saturday that they will switch from Cosworth engines to Ferrari from the start of next season - prompting immediate speculation that the outfit would now align themselves politically with Ferrari.

But speaking exclusively to Autosport-Atlas, Red Bull's sporting director Christian Horner was adamant that the team were still completely free to decide their own future - especially when it came to deciding on whether to sign up to F1 or the planned manufacturer breakaway from the start of 2008.

"We maintain our independence with this deal," said Horner. "Red Bull is an independent team and we will carve our own future. It's had no bearing.

"We have never declared ourselves on being on one side or the other, we are new to Formula One, we are an independent team, there are two-and-a-half years left on the current (Concorde) Agreement. Our engine contract finishes before 2008, although there are options for later years, so from my perspective, as I have always said, we are totally impartial."

Speaking about the reasons why Red Bull had turned their back on Cosworth, Horner claimed that the primary motivation for joining a major manufacturer was the fact that the switch to V8 engines next year could prove too expensive in development terms for an independent engine company.

"With the regulations changing, going to V8s next year, it is very important to have the right power unit and it is a very clear indication of another step forward for the team," explained Horner. "This signals our intent for the future.

"Cosworth have done a great job for us this year, the V10 has been excellent and we have a development step coming. But, you know, with the development rate that will happen with the V8, our only concern was Cosworth is an independent manufacturer and their ability to maintain pace with the manufacturers."

The Ferrari deal is a straight customer engine contract and does not include any other Ferrari parts, such as gearbox or rear suspension.

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