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via Reuters

via Reuters

The beginning of the hybrid engine era marked the end of Red Bull’s dominance in Formula 1. The team’s Renault-supplied engines posed no competition to be at the top in 2014. As the 2015 season began with a disaster for the team in Australia, they threatened to pull out of the competition, which Lewis Hamilton did not like.

Red Bull used Renault-supplied engines ever since the start of the 2007 season. Sebastian Vettel won the driver’s championship from 2009 to 2013 with those engines. However, as new FIA regulations came into play in 2014, Mercedes saw a rise to the top. While Mercedes’ rise wasn’t what bothered team owner Dietrich Mateschitz, it was his own team’s non-competitive run that was a matter of concern.

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Lewis Hamilton did not want to see Red Bull leave

As Red Bull continued their sorry run in the 2015 season opener, the team principal was left furious. Christian Horner publically ridiculed their engine supplier for giving them “undriveable” engines. Even team advisor Helmut Marko came out to tell F1 they were contemplating quitting the sport at the end of the season.

via Reuters

Speaking after the Australian GP with The Morning Show, Lewis Hamilton told, Just look at the last Grand Prix. We only had 11 cars finish the race. But it can be expected in the start of the season with cars and having a lot of time to practice and iron out the creases. So it’ll improve through the year. But we want more teams, not less teams.”

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Things improved little for the Austrian team as the season progressed and they looked for engine suppliers elsewhere. Honda were not an attractive option for Red Bull and Mercedes refused to supply its own power units. This irked Red Bull even more as they threatened to walk out at the end of the season again.

Helmut Marko expressed team owner Dietrich Mateschitz’s opinion

In an interview with Formula 1’s official website, Helmut Marko revealed the team owner’s thought process of pulling both Red Bull and Toro Rosso out of the competition.

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via Reuters

Marko said, “If we don’t have a competitive engine there is no future in F1 for Red Bull Racing. The curtain may go down after Abu Dhabi. That is Mr. Mateschitz’s opinion.”

“He knows that it costs the same amount of money to race at the front or, like we are now doing, in the ‘premium midfield’ – and he is not willing to do that for another season.”

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Watch This Story: Bromance moments between Max Verstappen & Lewis Hamilton

Despite the breakdown of relations with Renault, Red Bull continued to use their engines, re-badged as Tag Heuer from 2016 to 2018. In 2019, they switched to Honda-supplied power units.