Wooing Andy Cowell to Red Bull ’difficult’ - Marko

"I think it would be very difficult to get him back"

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By GMM

19 March 2021 - 12:51
Wooing Andy Cowell to Red Bull (...)

Dr Helmut Marko has once again played down Red Bull’s chances of enticing Andy Cowell back to Formula 1 to lead the new engine operations at Milton Keynes.

The Austrian told motorsport-magazin.com that Red Bull is already busily preparing the in-house engine facilities ahead of Honda’s official departure at the end of the year.

"We are assuming that the hardware will be ready to go by spring, summer next year," said Marko.

"At the same time, we have placed advertisements and received very good feedback," he added.

It is not clear who will lead the operation, but former Mercedes engine boss Cowell’s name keeps cropping up.

"We always talk and he would be a nice option, but it’s not really up to date information," said Marko.

"He has just left Mercedes because he was looking for a new challenge outside of Formula 1. I think it would be very difficult to get him back."

Marko admits that the details of the Rd Bull engine program beyond 2022 is currently unclear, but it is possible that Honda will remain contractually involved in the project in some ways.

Yasuaki Asaki, who heads the works Honda F1 project in Japan, admitted: "Honda’s level of commitment to the engine development in 2022 has yet to be defined in the final contract.

"Until now, the engine was from Honda so we decided what to do with it. But now that it will be a Red Bull engine, they have the final say," he added.

"If they want us to develop something and put it in the contract, we can implement it," said Asaki.

One complication for Red Bull is the move to E10 fuel from 2022, which Honda is already working on.

"They cannot race if they are not prepared for the new regulations, so we are working hard to adjust the engine even if the contract is not yet ready," said the Japanese.

Marko admits that Red Bull is yet to plot a precise course for the future with regard to the engine program, especially with brand new rules looming for 2025.

"We also have to discuss with Honda how we will continue after 2025," he said. "Either we take a new engine supplier, or we develop the Honda engine further.

"The way things are now, things look positive," added Marko. "The new regulations for the power units are coming and the budget ceiling also helps us in terms of engines. So I’m optimistic about that."

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