Mika Hakkinen says he can understand why Red Bull is threatening to quit formula one over its engine situation. The energy drink company, with two teams on the grid, is in the throes of divorce from its current partner Renault after two sub-standard years in the new 'power unit' era.
Mercedes, however, is refusing to leap to the rescue, and McLaren's Ron Dennis is reportedly blocking a customer Honda deal. Ferrari, meanwhile, is "blocking us", Red Bull official Dr Helmut Marko told the German newspaper Bild, referring to the fact that the Italian outfit appears only to be offering a supply of 2015-spec V6s. He said that with Sauber and Haas to have the fully up-to-date 2016 unit, Ferrari's offer is "ridiculous".
Red Bull therefore appears out of options, raising the likelihood that Dietrich Mateschitz - who according to team boss Christian Horner is generally "disillusioned" with F1 at present - will simply pull the plug on the sport. Some in the paddock believe Red Bull brought the situation on itself by complaining so loudly about Renault.
But former double world champion Hakkinen said in his latest interview with Hermes that he can fully understand Red Bull's quit threats over the issue. "I understand Red Bull perfectly," said the famous Finn.
"It cannot be forgotten that they very recently won four world championships in a row, so of course they don't want to set lower goals. Red Bull is not interested in just being there. They want to at least be able to have a realistic chance to fight for the championship," Hakkinen added. (GMM)
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing