Red Bull Preparing for Ferrari Switch

Red Bull Racing have already begun their preparations for a switch to Ferrari engines next season with a project group having travelled to Maranello this week to get preliminary data on their new power-units, Autosport-Atlas has learned

Red Bull Preparing for Ferrari Switch

Although the customer engine deal was only inked at last weekend's San Marino Grand Prix, Red Bull have wasted little time in trying to get as much early knowledge as possible about Ferrari's future V8 engines so the team can make an early start with their 2006 car design.

The group of engineers from Red Bull are meeting with Ferrari's engine department to begin discussions about the future partnership.

Red Bull's deal with Ferrari includes use of the team's engine electronics systems but does not extend as far as other car parts, such as the rear suspension or gearbox. But Red Bull boss Dietrich Mateschitz has not ruled out such a deal in the future.

"If we think it makes sense, we can get more components," he said.

Mateschitz is confident that his team's links with Ferrari will go purely beyond being just being a customer - which is why in the end he chose to reject overtures from BMW and Honda because they are already in partnership with their own teams.

"We could basically choose which engine we wanted to have," explained Mateschitz. "The decision was not really hard to take since Ferrari is the most charismatic racing team in the world, for sure the best team out there right now with one of the strongest, extremely reliable engines.

"I have not to go into details about the marketing value of Ferrari. I see this as a mid-term partnership, which will lead into friendship. There is much consensus between Jean Todt and ourselves as teams."

The move to Ferrari engines in 2006 should help Red Bull make a step forward in competitiveness next year, although Mateschitz knows that the expectations on his team to succeed are not as great as they are on manufacturer outfits.

"We are not so much under pressure as is a car manufacturer like BMW or Mercedes-Benz to win, but we want to be among the first teams," he said. "From the ambition perspective we are on the same level as every big firm, with the slight difference that our guest would get something different to drink!

"But if you commit yourself to an energy drink which refreshes mind and body, which gives you wings, then of course you cannot crawl around at the back of the field. That would hardly be the right signal."

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