Power shift within F1 after deal between Red Bull and Williams?

09-09-2021 07:02
by GPblog.com
F1 News
Power shift within F1 after deal between Red Bull and Williams?

Red Bull seems to have won an important battle with Mercedes. Not Mercedes protégé, Nyck de Vries, but Alexander Albon got the seat at Williams for 2022, and was also allowed to remain part of the Red Bull training staff. Is there more politics behind this move and is Red Bull the big winner?

The power of Wolff

Around the Dutch Grand Prix there was a lot of talk about the seat that would become available at Williams. According to Toto Wolff Albon had to break his ties with Red Bull. Of course Wolff would have preferred that, because as former shareholder and team owner of Williams he would like to keep his hand in the tiller. Williams however had other plans.

Not De Vries of engine supplier Mercedes was chosen, but Albon of Red Bull. Williams and Red Bull also made a joint statement when the Thai was announced. Not only does Albon make the switch but he also remains part of the Red Bull programme.

Cooperation with Williams

A blow for Wolff, who not only couldn't give his pupil a place in the team, but also sees Williams slowly slipping out of his fingers. Where that team has been working more and more closely with Mercedes in recent years, the team led by Jost Capito seems to want to buy parts from Mercedes (gearbox and engine), but not be treated as a B-team.

However, there seems to be more politics behind this deal. Red Bull will take over the engine from Honda in 2022, and that is of course a huge cost item. They would love to sell the engine to a third party. Williams seems to be a good candidate for that. That's not all though, because the Volkswagen Group is also around the corner.

Volkswagen to F1

From 2025 new engines will be introduced in F1 and the Volkswagen Group is one of the new parties at the table during these talks. With Capito and Francois-Xavier Demaison Williams has two former Volkswagen executives in their team principal and technical director. Do you see the link?

Maybe it's a bit of a long shot, but Red Bull has been linked to the Volkswagen Group for a long time now and is said to want to produce the new engine of 2025 in their own factory, but bring in a third party as name bearer (read: sponsor) and extra expertise. Porsche or Audi seem to be the right parties.

With Williams Red Bull seems to have found a partner in crime. Volkswagen wants the electric part of the new engine from 2025 onwards, but Ferrari and Mercedes have invested a lot of money in that and don't want to lose that advantage. With Williams and Red Bull the Volkswagen Group now possibly has two teams on their side.

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