Magneti Marelli has hit back at Dietrich Mateschitz after the Red Bull mogul urged Renault to dump its Italian supplier of alternators.
Following a persistant reliability problem that is proving difficult for the team’s engine supplier to solve, billionaire Mateschitz reportedly urged Renault to simply dump Magneti Marelli.
“This statement has surprised us,” the Italian supplier’s motor sport boss Roberto Dalla told La Gazzetta dello Sport. “I will not comment, because I don’t understand it. All the analysis that we have done has shown that the part has no problem. It has failed probably because of the exceptional mechanical stress it is exposed to,” added Dalla.
During free practice two in Singapore on Friday night, British broadcaster Sky’s pitlane pundit Ted Kravitz said he has learned that Renault will not be dumping Magneti Marelli.
Red Bull wants Renault to dump its alternator supplier.
The reigning champions have been dogged by a recurring reliability problem in 2012, which cost Sebastian Vettel victory at Valencia and crucial points at Monza. The faulty component, which has also failed in other Renault-powered cars this year including the Lotus and the Pirelli test car, is the alternator supplied by Italian company Magneti Marelli.
“I want Renault to separate from its supplier Magneti Marelli and use someone else,” Red Bull team boss Dietrich Mateschitz is quoted by Germany’s Auto Bild Motorsport.
Renault Sport’s Remi Taffin confirmed that the French marque is considering its works partner’s request. Despite a testy relationship between Red Bull and McLaren, it is believed one of the only ready alternatives to Magneti Marelli is McLaren Electronic Systems (MES).
Dietrich Mateschitz, owner of the Red Bull team, insists he is not worried about reports Sebastian Vettel is considering a switch to Ferrari.
Speculation the reigning double world champion has inked some sort of ‘pre-contract’ with the famous Italian team will not go away.
“It neither bothers nor surprises us, since we nor Sebastian know anything about it,” billionaire Mateschitz is quoted by DPA news agency. “And neither, probably, do Ferrari or Fernando Alonso.
“But should one day it be different, we would wish Sebastian all the best and much success,” said Mateschitz.
Team owner Dietrich Mateschitz has dismissed as “a rumour” speculation Red Bull could lose Mark Webber to Ferrari.
“I would wish him a great Ferrari contract,” the Austrian billionaire surprisingly told Salzburger Nachrichten newspaper. “But that’s what every driver wants as well.”
Webber has been linked with struggling Felipe Massa’s Ferrari seat, but reports have also mentioned the likelihood of a new Red Bull deal for the 35-year-old Australian.
“He already has a top car with us. He will go where he gets the best car. Anyway, to be next to Alonso would not be any easier than being in a team with Vettel,” Mateschitz insisted. “I see it all as just a rumour.”
Mark Webber appears headed for a new contract with Red Bull, after receiving a clear vote of confidence from the energy drink company’s chief.
Following speculation the 35-year-old Australian could be headed to Ferrari in 2013, Red Bull team boss Christian Horner insisted Webber “is happy to be here, and we are happy to have him with us”. And the Swiss newspaper Blick has revealed that team owner Dietrich Mateschitz, the billionaire mogul, is also happy with Webber.
“I hope that he keeps driving with us for a long time,” the 68-year-old is quoted as saying.