Mercedes: Third customer team looks unlikely

Red Bull Racing’s hopes of switching to Mercedes power next season appear to be dashed, after the German manufacturer all but ruled out supplying a third customer team.

The Milton Keynes-based squad has long flirted with the idea of switching to Mercedes power, with team principal Christian Horner revealing that any future with current supplier Renault would rest upon the effectiveness of the FIA’s push for engine parity.

However, Ross Brawn, team principal of Mercedes’s works outfit, warned against the such an expansion – claiming that the German manufacturer was already fully stretched in fulfilling its current commitments.

Subsequently these comments have been echoed by Norbert Haug, who believes that the reintroduction of KERS in 2011 will make such an expansion even more difficult to fulfil.

“We have probably KERS next year, so we need to look at our capacities,” said the Silver Arrow’s motorsport boss. “It definitely would be very difficult for us to supply a fourth team – but no final decision is taken yet.

“We have cut the workforce on our engines, and we also need to prepare in a while for 2013 when there will be new rules. So probably the best decision is to stick with three teams.

“That is not the final decision taken, but probably we will stay as we are.”