Formula One: Mercedes caused Red Bull/Renault split – Bernie Ecclestone

F1i 15:26 21/11/2015
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Letting it out: Bernie Ecclestone (r) and Niki Lauda.

Bernie Ecclestone claims Red Bull terminated its contract with Renault as a result of instructions from Mercedes.

Red Bull threatened to quit F1 when it couldn’t secure a competitive power unit supply deal having moved to cancel its contract with Renault a year early.

While Red Bull appears like to repair the relationship with the French engine manufacturer for next season, Ecclestone says Mercedes’ originally had agreed to supply the four-time constructors’ champions before reneging on the deal.

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“Mercedes had agreed to do it,” Ecclestone told Motorsport-Magazin.com.

“This is why they cancelled their contract with Renault because Mercedes had agreed then they changed their mind. They didn’t want competition. Neither Ferrari nor Mercedes want competition from Red Bull.”

When it was put to Ecclestone that Niki Lauda claims there has never been an agreement between Red Bull and Mercedes, Ecclestone replied: “Did he say that?

“It’s funny he shook hands with the owner of Red Bull. That’s the reason they cancelled the other contract because Niki Lauda said to them we can’t do a deal with you as long as you have a contract with Renault.

“So you better cancel it and then we’re okay. They cancelled it and then they changed their mind.”

When Lauda was asked about Ecclestone’s comments, he said the commercial rights holder was not aware of the full extent of the discussions.

“Bernie was not present at the meeting,” Lauda said.

“The meeting was about Mr Mateschitz’s problems with Mercedes. If he could put away his aversions. It was just loose talkes and he said he could. Afterwards we never got signals from Renault and Red Bull, that’s why definite negotiations never took place.”

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