Red Bull's Mateschitz has lost interest in Formula 1, Lauda feels

Niki Lauda feels Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz has lost interest in Formula 1, and would not be surprised if he withdrew his teams

Red Bull's Mateschitz has lost interest in Formula 1, Lauda feels

Red Bull and Toro Rosso are currently without a power-unit supplier for 2016 as they have decided to terminate their contracts with Renault at the end of this F1 season.

Mercedes has already decided it will not step into the breach, leaving Ferrari as the only realistic hope for the two teams to continue.

It is understood Ferrari has offered Red Bull this season's engine to place in next year's car, which has been rejected as the latter is seeking parity and competitiveness.

The ball is now in the court of Ferrari chairman Sergio Marchionne who, according to F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, has proclaimed himself if Red Bull has the same engine.

Mercedes non-executive chairman Lauda, however, feels fellow Austrian Mateschitz will not be too concerned if he lets his teams fold.

"My feeling is Mateschitz at the moment is not pushing hard himself," said Lauda.

"He lets Helmut [Marko, advisor] and Christian [Horner, team principal] work on it [a deal], but he is not the leader like he was in the past. In the past he did everything himself."

Suggested to Lauda that Mateschitz had lost interest, he replied: "It looks like it to me, yes, because I have known him a long time and normally he is the master of all this, but he never gets involved at the moment."

As to whether Mateschitz would pull Red Bull out F1, Lauda added: "It's hard for me to say, but the way Didi is acting at the moment he could consider it, he could.

"To end up in that situation, that there is only one engine available, is tough."

Lauda is adamant Mercedes will not reverse its earlier decision by coming to Red Bull's aid.

"No, there was a long discussion we had internally," said Lauda.

"We don't have to go around and beg people to use the engine, it is the other way around. But we were never approached, so therefore we never thought about it."

Lauda claims it is Mateschitz's aversion to Mercedes that prevented a formal approach from being made.

"If I am not approached, what should I do? Throw the engine at him [Mateschitz] and give it as a gift?" queried Lauda.

"It doesn't work like this. There is a reason for it and I know the reason - he doesn't like Mercedes.

"I know him very well. Ferrari is his option now and it's up to him if he wants to take it or not."

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