Niki Lauda says Red Bull never asked Mercedes to supply it with power units amid speculation over its future.
Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz has threatened to quit on numerous occasions if the team does not receive a competitive power unit next season having severed ties with former supplier Renault. While Mercedes was thought to be Red Bull’s first choice - with Toto Wolff having previously referenced a potential deal - Mercedes opted against supplying the four-time constructors’ champions.
However, Lauda now claims there was never a firm approach from Red Bull requesting Mercedes power units.
“I spoke to Bernie [Ecclestone] about this engine deal and it was very clear that Mateschitz never really approached us for the reasons he never really liked Mercedes from the past,” Lauda said. “Then Ferrari came and offered an engine which now has negotiations going on over what engines they get. Bernie is not upset with us about the engine.
“He does not do it. Mateschitz at the moment, my feeling is, is not pushing hard himself. He lets Helmut [Marko] and Christian [Horner] work on it, but he is not the leader like he was in the past. In the past he did everyone himself.”
Asked if Mateschitz has lost interest in F1, Lauda replied: “It looks like it to me.
“I know him a long time and normally he is the master, but he doesn’t get involved recently.”
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